Category Archives: guest post

4 Famous African Animals That Have Made an Impact on the World

By Cristina Costea

elephants

One of the most significant reasons people go on safaris is the animals. Getting to see the majestic African beasts in their natural habitat is one of the most precious memories a person can make in their lifetime. 

Unfortunately, poaching has greatly reduced the numbers of the big five and other majestic African animals. According to numerous statistics, including the African Wildlife Foundation, if the current poaching rates are kept up, rhinos, elephants and other African wildlife may become extinct within our lifetime.

Today, we’re going to take a look at 4 famous African animals that have left their print on the world, but who have been taken from us too early.
 
4. Wozani, the Black Rhino

rhinoImage source: Express.co.uk

The black rhino is a critically endangered animal, which means that there is pretty much only a handful of them out there. Wozani was a black rhino male that wandered from the Kruger National Park in South Africa and was shot to death by poachers. They took parts of his foot, his tail and his tusk.
It is believed that Wozani strayed from the park in search of his beloved mate, Busa, that had been killed by poachers a month prior to his death. Wozani was beloved by many, and what made him endearing was his cute face that looked as if he was getting ready to plant a big, wet kiss on someone’s face. Just look at that cute face!
Did you know that in 2014, a permit to kill one of the 18 black rhinos that Namibia considered past their prime and  a threat to younger rhinos was sold for $350,000? Apparently, the money went to fund anti-poaching efforts in Namibia. A bit ironic, isn’t it?
 
3. Huberta the Hippo

hippoImage source: AtlasObscura.com 

Huberta is one of the most famous animals in the history of Africa. Her strange name comes from the fact that people thought she was a male and called her Hubert. But following her death, it was revealed that she was actually a female, thus Huberta. What made Huberta famous and loved by many was her journey. In November 1928, she decided to leave her familiar surroundings and head towards the Eastern Cape. She traveled for three years, a total of 1,000 miles (1,600 km), becoming a symbol of hope and perseverance.

Nobody really knows why she up and left, maybe it was to look for a mate or to retrace the steps of her hippo ancestors, but what people do know is that her journey inspired many. Often the tales of African animals end on a sad note, and Huberta’s story is no different. Even though she was declared a “Royal Game” which made it illegal for hunters to kill her, she was still shot to death by poachers in 1931.
Following her death, she was taxidermied in London and returned to South Africa in 1932. Her story inspired Edmund Lindop to write the 1961’s children’s book Hubert, the Traveling Hippopotamus.
 
2. Satao the Elephant

elephantImage source: Wikipedia.org

It’s hard to imagine killing a majestic elephant for its tusks, but sadly, this happens so often that it is threatening the elephant population. After having roamed Kenya for 45 years, Satao, an African elephant with tusks so big that they almost reached the ground, was killed in 2014, his tusks were taken  from him and his face was mutilated to avoid identification.
 
In 2013 alone, over 20,000 African elephants were slaughtered for their tusks. Ivory sells for several thousand dollars per pound and Satao’s were estimated to weigh around 200 pounds (45 kg).

Here is the heartbreaking statement that let the world know of Satao’s death: “It is with enormous regret that we confirm there is no doubt that Satao is dead, killed by an ivory poacher’s poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries. A great life lost so that someone far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece. Rest in peace, Old Friend, you will be missed.”
 
1. Cecil the Lion 

lionImage source: KTLA.com

Cecil the lion was one of the most famous lions on the African continent. It lived in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where he was admired and protected. Cecil was born in 2002 and on July 1st 2015, Walter Palmer, an American dentist and big-game hunter killed him with a crossbow, after having lured him out of the park. Palmer allegedly paid a whopping $50,000 and was helped by two locals to track and hunt Cecil, a Southwest African lion.

The news of the murder went viral and the outrage helped add two subspecies of lion to the endangered species list. This means that American hunters will have a much more difficult time killing those types of lions, including Cecil’s subspecies, the Southwest African lion.

Walter Palmer walked away a free man after having killed Cecil and the government of Zimbabwe even mentioned that he is welcomed back in the country but as a tourist and not a hunter.
 
About Cristina Costea
Cristina is a writer for BookAllSafaris.com. She is a passionate traveler, cat aficionado and novice writer.

Posted in guest post, wildlife | 1 Comment

Top 5 Tips on How To Take Care of Your Dog

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Having a dog is one of the most exciting and profound experiences anyone can have in their life. Dogs are the most devoted companions, and they accept you for who you are, and they do not care about your faults or eccentricities.

They know when you’re sad, and will try to do everything they can to cheer you up or comfort you. If you’re ill they’ll stay by your side. A dog will patiently wait for your attention, and always remain a loyal protector and a loyal friend. Becoming familiar with exactly how to take good care of your dog will help ensure you and your dog enjoy a great experience. Here are the top tips on how to take good care of your dog;

1. Medical Check up

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Just like people need regular medical check ups in order to stay healthy, your dog also needs regular check ups. It’s very important to undertake a thorough physical examination of the dog on a regular basis.

The veterinarian can check the pad of its’ feet for injuries, update its’ vaccinations, and can also do a thorough oral examination. A regular relationship with the veterinarian is essential to maintaining your dog’s health.

2. Proper Dog Supplies and Equipment?
Today, there are lots of stuff available for dogs. Many items are for fun, such as toys and chews, however, some things are very essential.

Choosing the right type of equipment and supplies for your dog is crucial and can help alleviate many potential problems. Some of the essential dog supplies and equipment can include, but not limited to;?

Dog Collar
You need to buy a dog collar which fits snugly without choking him. You can include a dog tag on the collar; the tag can have your name and your phone number should your dog ever get lost.

Dog Leash
Choose the right type of leash for the dog. Always make sure your dog is on a leash whenever you happen to take him outside the confines of his yard or house.

No matter how well trained your dog might be, you can’t guarantee that you’ll always be able to completely control your furry friend under all circumstances. There are some breeds, like the Siberian Huskies, which are bred to run, and tend to so at the very 1st opportunity.

Pet Water fountain
Buying a pet water fountain for your dog helps ensure you dog gets fresh water at all times.

Automatic Pet Feeder
This is a rather essential equipment especially if you are busy, and you want your dog to never miss a meal. An automatic pet feeder ensures your dog stays health by making sure he is well fed.

3. Exercise

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In order to keep your dog fit and healthy, you need to ensure that he gets adequate exercise. Exercise is not only great for your dog’s health, but it also helps keep the behavioral issues at bay. Playtime is also a perfect time for bonding with your dog. Exercises generally vary based on the type of breed, level of health, sex, and age.

4. Grooming

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Proper dog care involves grooming your dog on a regular basis. Grooming can be very fun for both you, and your furry friend. Frequency of brushing varies depending on the type of dog you own, and just how much it sheds.

Regularly brushing your dog will help reduce the shedding, and gives you a great chance of assessing the state of the dog’s body. Brushing your dog’s coat will ensure the coat remains free of any tangles, and in the right condition. It’s also a great opportunity for playing with your dog and offering affection.

Bathing your dog on a regular basis is also necessary. However, do not give him a bath on an exceedingly frequent basis because this can dry out his coat or skin, and result in serious skin infections.
How often you wash the dog depends on the type of dog, and the living environment. You should also keep your dog’s nails trimmed, ears free of infection, and teeth regularly brushed.

5. Proper Diet

A good dog owner will make sure that his dog has a nutrient rich diet every single day. Your vet can recommend the best type of food for your type of dog, and also advise you on the appropriate portions.
You should also make sure you feed your furry friend on a regular schedule. It’s recommended you feed your dog two times a day; if you are a busy dog owner, you can buy an automatic pet feeder to ensure your dog has a stable feeding routine.

A stable feeding routine can also be of great help with house training since dogs usually tend to go to the bathroom 20 to 30 mins after eating. Water should also be available at all times. Your dog needs to have clean, fresh water available 24/7. You should consider purchasing a pet water fountain so as to give your dog access to water at all times.

Conclusion
A dog can be a really wonderful addition to your home, however, whether you are first time adopter, or an experienced pet owner, it is very important to always keep your canine companion’s happiness and health a top priority.

Follow the above dog care tips to help keep your furry friend happy and in good health.

BIO:
My name is Diana Hutchinson. I am the founder of Tinpaw. I have more than 10-years’ experience in nurturing and caring cats. I love them. Since long ago they had been become important members of my family.

Posted in dogs, guest post | 1 Comment

How to Keep Your Dog Happy While You’re at Work

Dogs are naturally sociable animals. Being left on their own all day is quite an unnatural (and boring) experience for many dogs.

As a result, dogs left alone all day tend to get themselves into mischief as a source of entertainment. Whether that takes the form of destructive behaviour or constant barking, it’s hardly an ideal situation for either your dog or your neighbours.

Fortunately, if you’re struggling to keep your dog amused while you’re out there are a host of options you can try.

Exercise Early

Like us humans, the more tired your dog is, the less they will fancy getting into trouble! If you’re going to be out at work for long periods of time, then one practical tip is to start the day with a long walk.

Dispense with the same old boring walk around the same old roads, and instead get creative. Take your dog to new areas to mentally stimulate them. Don’t just settle for walking but also consider going for a jog, playing fetch or doing some obedience training.

The goal is to stimulate both the body and mind. Not only will your dog have the time of their life, but the first few hours while you’re away they’ll likely be recovering from all their exertions.

Activity-Related Toys

Your dog no doubt has their favourite toys, and making these available during the day is certainly beneficial. However, why not change things up with toys which encourage activity and concentration from your dog?

For example, a Kong can be filled with peanut butter. Many dogs will spend hours trying to lick the last of the delicious filling out. Alternatively, a range of other toys will dispense small treats over time. For example, Boredom Breakers and balls filled with treats, which must be rolled around in order to gain access to the kibble.

Get creative with your choice of toys, and don’t be afraid of investing a little money into exciting new options on a regular basis. Over time you’ll build up a collection of toys which can be rotated to keep play fresh and exciting.

Human Voices

Some dogs find that hearing human voices during the day can help to keep them calm and encourage them to behave. Leaving a radio or the TV on quietly in the background can be beneficial under such circumstances.

On the other hand, you know your dog better than anyone. A small minority of pets will find unfamiliar voices stressful, which can actually encourage barking. If in doubt, try leaving the radio on for short periods of time to see how your dog reacts. If the impact seems to be positive, then consider leaving this on while you’re at work.

Pop Home

Just because you’re working from nine to five doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog needs to remain alone for this entire time.

If possible, try to pop back at lunchtime for a toilet break and some affection. Alternatively, see if a friend or neighbour who is known to your dog can turn up once or twice during the day. They may even be willing to take your dog out for an additional midday stroll.

Baby Cams

If you’re concerned about how your dog behaves in your absence, or you’ve had an uncomfortable chat with your neighbours about daytime barking then consider installing a simple web cam in your property. Under such circumstances you can keep an eye on your dog from the comfort of your smart phone.

You can learn plenty from such an exercise, such as which toys seem to have the greatest appeal for your dog, or what noises seem to set off a barking attack. By slowly getting your dog used to these noises over time you should be able to reduce the impact they’re having, and retain your neighbours as friends.

The Great Release

It’s all too easy to tumble through the front door after a long day at work, desperate to put your feet up. But think of your dog. You getting home is the most exciting part of their day!

Reward your dog’s good behaviour with a walk they’ll be pleased with. Doing so is not only kind, but also helps to burn off some more energy after your pooch has been cooped up all day (ensuring you a nice quiet evening!).

Regular Patterns

As a final note, be aware that dogs are creatures of habit. They tend to be happiest with regular schedules, so extra thought should be applied if you’re going to be home late from work (such as when the Christmas party season rolls around).

Under such circumstances try to do what you can to maintain your normal schedule – even if you have to walk your dog after work before heading out to the glitz and glamour.

This article is courtesy of Paige Hawin from PBS Pet Travel.

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The Grey-Hairs: Growing Old with Pets

Guest author Katie Kapro holds her MFA in nonfiction writing. When walking around town, she often finds herself talking to more dogs than people.

Binkie cringes when I call her dog Mick Jagger. “Mickey,” she corrects. “His name is Mickey.” I’m sure her only memory of Mick Jagger is from my mother’s rebellious teenage years, a scandalous poster on the bedroom wall or a song blasted too loud on the record player. Binkie had a lot going on in those days – she worked part-time at a law firm and raised my mother and her four siblings.

Now, Binkie is 90 years old and it’s just her and Mickey, a whippet-chihuahua mix with the personality of a nightclub bouncer.

mickey the commander in chief

Mickey is the size of a chihuahua and the shape of a whippet. He carries himself with natural machissmo – his muscular chest, straight forequarters, and upward-tilted jaw declaring his power to the world. There’s no question that he pushes Binkie around, yapping everyday at exactly 4:15pm for his healthy dinner of kibble, steamed green beans, and carrots. Sometimes she pushes back. “You already had your dinner, Mick,” she’ll say, wagging her finger. He yaps. “Nope. No more for you.” He clicks away on the linoleum to pout.

I swear he understands her tones better than I do. They keep one another engaged with the world and irritate one another just enough to give life that good edge.

Mickey was the product of divorce, nobody wanted him, and he made his way to my grandmother through a series of friends five years ago. Now they are all but inseparable. As Mickey gets older – the little grey hairs on his chin now in the majority – her house transforms into a senior dog haven.

Sometimes as dogs grow old, their owners give in to the momentum of aging. They don’t take their dogs to the park anymore for fear it will hurt their joints, they don’t buy them treats out of concern it will hurt their gums. Binkie doesn’t bow to those worries. Sure, she dotes on him by laying big soft blankets over the couch and giving him extra plush toys to destroy, but she doesn’t just let him mope around the house. She’s better at this growing old thing than most.

There is an empty ice cream carton in Binkie’s freezer that she warns me about every time I visit. Instead of ice cream it holds chicken bones, fruit rinds, all sorts of perishables she doesn’t want to throw in the can in the hot garage. “Whoever finds me when I die, I don’t want them to have to deal with putrid trash too.” Ever the pragmatist. Binkie has been prepared for her death for years. She has her will all sorted out, knows who is getting the crystal wine glasses and who is getting the flag from her husband’s funeral.

She also made a plan for Mickey.

Few of us think about setting up a stable home for our pet if something traumatic happens and we’re unable to care for them. We make plans for houses, cars, kids, and even trash, but pets get forgotten. There’s the assumption that someone will take care of the dog, so why worry about the details? The details, though, can make a huge difference to the physical and emotional health of an animal.

Say a man includes his dog in his will. That’s great, but it turns out it can take weeks or even months for a will to be read and fully processed.

Instead, the man could set up a pet trust. As part of that process, the pet owner names a pet trustee who will step in immediately and make sure his dog doesn’t slip through the cracks. It’s also a huge help for the person who ends up caring for the animal – after all, we all like a little notice before bringing in a new family member.

It can be less disconcerting on an existential level to focus on the day-to-day instead of the vast, unknown future. But it doesn’t have to be a big scary thing. Be like Binkie: get good at growing old. Whether we’re in our twenties, forties, sixties, or nineties, we’re all aging; we might as well get good at it and take care of our animals in the process.

Posted in guest post, pet care | 1 Comment