Voice For Elephants

Voice For Elephants

Elephants are poached every day for their tusks and considered "trophies," It's time to change that, not go back.

Normally, I stay quiet in anything regarding politics or my personal political opinion. I never try to post on social media about our President in a negative manner. And you will never know where I stand on those terms. I was raised to respect those in service. Troops, Law Enforcement, the President running our country even if no one else does, and I still do. But this subject, I just can not stay silent. I am disgusted. Outraged.

Lifting a ban on “trophies” of elephant tusks is absolutely horrendous. Elephants are gentle and beautiful majestic animals. We are blessed to have such a magnificent animal on this earth. I still can not believe to this day, that Elephants are still being hunted for their tusks. Not their tusks, but the ivory that their tusks are made out of.

Elephants are dangerously endangered. Every day we lose more and more Elephants due to poaching. One day there will be no more, and will you regret it then? And now OUR President wants to lift the ban on them? NO. It is not right. WE all come from the Animal kingdom. Would you like to be hunted and claimed as a “trophy”? Like your life was worthless, just something to be placed on a shelf or be sold for a disgusting profit.

Elephants don’t have a voice in this. What if you didn’t? You wouldn’t like it, would you? I like having a say in my life. Career choices, where I go on my free time, what I do with my life. How about you?

We have to be the VOICE for the Elephants and all animals who are be hunted as “trophies”. I urge everyone to think about this. Speak up.

Working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom taught me a lot about these animals. Especially the elephants. It was my favorite thing to talk about with guests, the Disney Conservation Fund. I encouraged many guests to donate and often donated myself when I could to help save these animals. Now, even though I have since left Disney and returned home to focus on my career, I will never stop being a voice for these animals. I encourage everyone to stand with me. Raise awareness. Donate if you can to a conservation fund. If you are traveling to Walt Disney World, ask an Animal Kingdom Cast Member about donating. Research it, they will take any amount. Every penny counts. And Disney will match your donation 100%. Together, we can save the Elephants and more endangered animals. Above all else, be a VOICE.

Elephant’s tusks are being hunted still. The lifting of the ban has since been on hold pending further reviewing as I read. But it only lifts the ban so that US Sport Hunting will be allowed in the African countries. Poaching is still happening regardless of the US. I encourage everyone to take a stand. What if we stopped buying IVORY? The want and need of IVORY goes down, that may help stop poaching of Elephants. I know there is still A LOT of work to do. But everything counts. I hope everyone, including those with power, will think of the Elephants and all of the endangered animals and what impact we have on them and this beautiful world.

I do not mean to offend. Or state against our President, as I don’t really know all of the story, only what is being released. I am merely voicing my opinion on this matter and standing up for the Elephants. Thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Missy Hargrove

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Panda Facts That Might Surprise You

They are more than just a pretty face.

So let's be honest, we have all fallen in love with Giant Pandas at one point in our lives, I personally am still doting over the baby pictures of Bei Bei who was born in 2015. When I was thinking about writing another animal facts article, I asked one of my friends for ideas and she suggest pandas which I proceeded to tell her was cliche as far as cute animals go, but she insisted. The truth is there are actually a lot of things I didn't know about the big, cuddly-looking bears that are the face of the Worldwide Wildlife Fund. I picked out the facts I found most interesting and some adorable pictures for everyone to enjoy as they get ready for finals. So enjoy!

1. A newborn panda cub is about the size of a stick of butter according the WWF, making it roughly 1/900 of the size of its mother.

2. Giant Pandas are actually really good at climbing trees.

3. Giant Pandas can be more than four feet tall.

4. They must eat 26 to 84 pounds of bamboo a day!

5. There are less than 2,000 Giant Pandas left in the wild.

6. You can only find wild Giant Pandas in China.

7. If a panda has twins, the mother will abandon one of them because she cannot care for both.

8. Pandas live up to 20 years in the wild.

9. Pandas live alone.

I hope these facts make you respect these adorable bears for more than just their pretty faces.

For more info on pandas, check out these two sites: World Wild Life and National Geographic.

Cover Image Credit: skeeze on CC0 Creative Commons

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Bama Students, Take A Hike! The 10 Best Hiking Places In Alabama

These are some of the most beautiful gems in Alabama that you must check out before graduating.

For those of us that are out of state students from mountainous areas, hiking withdrawal is bound to happen. If you're stuck in a rut and need to explore some trails, this list can help you out with some of the most beautiful hikes in Alabama.

1. Red Mountain Park - Birmingham

Red Mountain Park holds a lot of outdoor recreation. With 15 miles worth of hiFrom gated dog parks to trails with goats munching on vegetation, Red Mountain has something for everyone. Ziplines run through the trees for the more daring among you.

2. Stephens Gap - Jackson County

Stephens Gap is one of the most beautiful hikes in Alabama because it ends with a cave with a waterfall that is well worth the 2-mile round trip hike. Be sure to bring a flashlight!

3. Desoto Falls - Mentone

This is a quick hike of .7 miles round trip to get your feet wet if you're a new hiker. The view is beautiful and the water is great!

4. Dismals Canyon - Franklin County

The 1.5-mile hike on the bottom of the canyon floor. Boulders and waterfalls mark this trail with plenty to look at. This conservatory charges by the person, but it's well worth it for the views and fun. They also offer guided night tours to see the tiny bioluminescent dismalites.

5. Walls of Jericho - Hytop

This is a long one at 6.6 miles and an elevation gain of 1348 feet. This trail is dog friendly and offers beautiful views, including a waterfall. Hikes are always worth it when there is a waterfall.

6. Cane Creek - Tuscumbia

Cane Creek is also a 6 miler rounding out at 6.2, but it's a loop and the elevation is only about 900 feet, making it a little bit easier than the Walls. Be sure to bring your pup on this one as well.

7. Sipsey River Trail - Double Springs

This out and back hike covers about 2.6 miles is only 196 feet. This trail is perfect for beginners, older dogs with energy and bikers.

8. Rainbow Mountain Loop - Madison

At only a mile and half, this is a short and sweet hike that will scratch your hikers itch without exhausting you. This hike has a variety of terrain and can be rocky so wear your best trail shoes, the ones with good traction and you're ready to go!

9. Lost Sink Trail - Paint Rock

A 2.8 mile trail ending with a waterfall. Most people say to go during the spring or fall, because it can be dry during the hot months. Overall, this hike is moderately easy and not too steep.

10. Hurricane Creek - Vinemont

This 2 mile loop ends with a waterfall and is mostly forested. Most of the hike is shaded and it's great for new hikers or children. The waterfall can be a bit skimpy in the summer months, but after a good rain this hike is the move.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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