This dickhead shot a cheetah and celebrated

fucking dick head

If this cheetah were an adult female, she could have had cubs she is trying to rear….but because of this asshole, the cubs, if they were there, will die…..

Otherwise, to have reached adulthood like this one did, this cheetah would have had to be one of the lucky 10% ( 90% mortality before adulthood), who managed to escape death as a growing cub from hyenas, lions, hunting dogs, eagles, or leopards; whose mom would have had risked her life defending, protecting it and hunting a meal everyday in broad daylight to feed it; and which would have carefully, cunningly negotiated the kind of treacherous path, only a cheetah, the frailest of all big cats, could have faced.

With just one fell swoop by this asshole’s gun , this asshole whose ONLY fucking whim is to have fun, to hunt for sport, for entertainment, this sorry specimen of a man snuffed out a life which had survived thus far through all the trials and tribulations only a cheetah cub and adult could have had faced along its way.

What a fucking dickhead. Any expletives won’t even come close to justify the kind of worthless scum this person is. Nor ever quell my anger.

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the devastating effects of trophy hunting for that magnificent mane

fucking bitch melissa bachman 2

A bit of my spew on trophy hunting and how the earth is much better off without the mercenary and vile Melissa Bachman ( above) and her kind.

For every male lion hunted for trophy, it is estimated that 20-30 other lions will die.

This is because when a pride male is killed, the pride system goes into chaos. The pride loses a protector which will fight off nomadic males searching for pride takeovers, protect the pride from hyenas, and protect the pride territory from other prides.

In the take-overs, the cubs are killed by the new pride male, lionesses get injured or killed defending their cubs, and younger members of the pride might be driven off into exile, their survival perilously uncertain due to their inexperience and loss of support from the adult lionesses. The remaining lionesses may lose their bond and rapport and turn on each other and even kill and eat cubs of their own pride members.

Trophy hunters typically target the most robust male lions — for their size, thick magnificent mane and they are easy targets due to their fearlessness. Trophy hunting is thus weeding out good genetics — larger males with thick manes fight better and are better at protecting the pride.

With the loss of a pride, there is loss of knowledge and experience that are passed down through the blood lines. In certain regions for example, there are lion prides which are specialist hunters of certain prey species ( buffaloes, giraffes, elephants) and have the knowledge to hunt and survive certain terrains ( marsh, valleys, thick brush, grass plains). Due to the more frequent loss of pride males from trophy hunting, pride take-overs are becoming more frequent. The devastating effects of trophy hunting for pride males on lion population is thus exponential.

Lions and other big cats are threatened by loss of habitat.  Human conflicts increase due to conversion of habitat into farmland; emerging diseases such as Canine Distemper are killing lions in certain places; the gene pool is shrinking, leading to poorer immunity and adaptability. An emerging threat is the demand for lion bones in China for Chinese medicine. Such demand is recent and is drummed up due to the difficulties in obtaining wild tiger bones.

The future for lions is bleak. There are an estimated 25 000 lions left in the wild, a shocking 96% decrease over 50 years. Lions are even extinct in numerous countries in Africa. It is predicted they will be extinct or effectively extinct,  as soon as 2020, by film makers and big cat conservationists, Derek and Beverly Joubert.

This is an unspeakable tragedy. Trophy hunting is unsustainable and the epitome of blood lust and greed. Please sign the next petition you see against canned and trophy hunting.

Australia, you are hereby awarded the certificate of hypocrisy

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Australia, rightly for crying out loud to the United Nation’s International Court to stop Japan from whale hunting in the Antarctic, says Japan’s whaling isn’t for scientific research, Japan is lying… it is for commercial purposes. Every anti-whaling people and nations (  mainly ‘western’ nations, I assume, apart from Norwegians … ) are very happy when UN court ruled that Japan’s whaling programme is illegal.

I await some other nations —  (I hope, preferably some western powers, and who hopefully will do it for some vested interests — because sadly – why would they care if it is for altruistic reasons??  –and also because Asian cities and the others like South America and Africa don’t give a fxxk usually about these things…..) – to bring the Western Australia’s shark cull to the same court. The shark cull, meant to prevent shark attacks on people who swim/play/surf in the ocean ( which belongs to sharks anyway), has really no scientific basis whatsoever that it will work for its intended purpose. It is outright crazy. Loads of undersized sharks and loads of tiger sharks have already got baited…. and may be dolphins??

Australia, you are hereby awarded the certificate of hypocrisy. And to the rest of the world, your inaction qualifies you for the same coveted award

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Tiger tiger , tiger shark!

Tiger tiger , tiger shark!

I swirled around just in time to see a Tiger shark circling behind me. A fellow diver took this photo and sent it to me. I remember there was much frantic banging on the tanks…clanging,, noise. I think the divemasters weren’t so happy, because I wasn’t supposed to be in mid-water, I was supposed to ascend while following the contour of the reef slope. Oh well!!!!

It was a young tiger shark, may be 3.5 metres long; the stripes on its torso revealed that it was a sub-adult!

That was in 2011, Fiji, Beqa Lagoon.

I made four dives with a dive operation in Beqa Lagoon and it totally opened my mind to the idea of shark chumming.

I didn’t think it was right to chum sharks to attract them for the sake of tourists/divers, but I was curious; and now, I have to say if it is done in a regulated, planned and controlled way, it can be safe and rewarding. However, if done in a haphazard way ( such as in Florida or Hawaii — it is banned in Hawaii three-four years ago), it can spell disaster.

The ‘shark dive’ wasn’t just about the tiger shark; there are six-seven species of sharks you might be able to see on one of these dives, but the tiger shark was something everybody wanted to see. It wasn’t just a ‘shark porn” dive; it was also about marine protected area, no-take zones and the local community.

The bull sharks ‘behaved” themselves and always come from one side and if they misbehave” and come from another side, no food will be given. You will be amazed how orderly they were when they “queued” and waited their turn for tuna heads to be handed out by the feeders. Much more orderly than most human crowds are anyway.

By saying ‘planned, controlled and regulated”, I am referring to a strict protocol for conducting the shark dives that has been rehashed/rehearsed for months and years by the dive operators. It was very well run. Divemasters to diver ratio was high, there were set depths where you must go to ( which will feature different species of sharks and feeding methods) and you better follow and obey the briefings and instructions. ( The divemasters conducting the dives carry BIG iron staff/rods — so if you misbehave……… nah . those were for any bull sharks or nurse sharks or Tiger sharks which might venture a little to near for comfort!).

I discovered the bull sharks were not the frenzied eaters they were supposed to be– basically, if the feeder were new, the sharks would not take food from that feeder. The new feeder had to be habituated for three-four weeks , situated alongside the regular feeder during the feeding sessions, before the sharks will take food from him ( it is usually a ‘he’ divemaster). The bull sharks were, you know, a little shy, despite their immense bulk!!

So there were bull sharks – the well behaved ones, the grey reefs, tawny nurse sharks ( they were messy gobblers) and then the black and white tips reef sharks. The white tip reef sharks were the more hazardous ones as they will crowd all over the feeder, sometimes grabbing the hands and legs of the feeder too! The feeder who was doing the white tip reef shark feeding had to wear chain mails.

But the one fish that the dive operators warned us were the Giant Trevallies — they will snatch your camera and sometimes brush up very close to you. They were described as ‘rude and stupid’, unlike our well behaved gentlemanly/lady-like bull sharks! Well, these Giant trevallies can get to two metres long, and they go head to head with the bull sharks for their chums!

Of course, there were also hundreds of red snappers, big surgeons, fusiliers, and many many swirling schools of fish adding to the spectacle of sharks right before your nose. The sheer abundance of fish was just… staggering! Marvelling at the thick thick immense schools of fish probably caused a bit of vertigo to some divers!

The shark dive operators work with the community and it goes like this. A certain percentage of the profits earned from the dives goes to the community. And the community supports the operators — many of the divemasters and instructors used to fish for a living. Beqa Lagoon is protected so no fishing is allowed in it, but the spill over from the protected areas is so huge fishing is good around the periphery of Beqa Lagoon. It seems everyone benefits.

But what about the environment? Beqa Lagooon is a no-take zone. As such, the reef ecosystem is healthy due to the abundance of fish life. Though some will say — we are changing nature, habituating the sharks to people, upsetting the food chain/ food web by feeding them. But honestly, by our mere existence on this earth, or if there were any evidence of coastline human activities, nature is already altered. I would say with compromise, there might be more good than bad in the Beqa shark dives— what with fisherman getting their catch, communities getting some money for schools and such, and the reefs staying healthy.

A ground-breaking research by Dr Enric Sala ( my hero), a marine ecologist, showed that any human existence will basically alter the whole reef ecosystem. He compared reefs with no human presence (Kingman Reef) against those with some human presence (eg reefs in Kiribati, Christmas island) and he found that the higher the human population was at that particular reef, the more severe the alteration was from its pristine stage. Adverse alteration, that is.

So, lets tread lightly on our planet.

Forms of fishing……

Forms of fishing......

I drew this while I was working as a dive manager and scuba instructor for an NGO for ocean conservation in Fiji 2 years ago.

This was for the kids, in Motoriki, Uluibau Primary School. It was situated about 40 minutes boat ride from the island where we were based. I loved the kids, and at one time, I remembered the names of all the students in that class we were working with. 9-11 boys and 8-10 girls, I think? Aged between 11-14.

I was trying to tell them about fishing methods. Trawling is bad, bad, bad for the ocean. The volunteers with the NGO will go there once a week. We blokes have to wear the sulus ( its like a skirt, like the kilt Scottish men wear) and flowery shirts ( Fijian style!) and the ladies, traditional Fijian dresses. No bare shoulders! All skirts below knees! I still have my sulu with me. Miss them kids. Miss their eagerness and friendliness.

What was bad was Chinese businessmen were paying the locals to dive to great depths to collect sea cucumbers. And these local scuba divers weren’t even properly trained. It is illegal to harvest sea cucumbers ( which fetch good prices! 80-150 USD per kilo I think for the fishers) in this manner.

And the sea cucumbers have pretty fancy layman names — pink lady, lollyfish, white teat fish. black teat fish, Doom ( also called Spiny pineapple). In our project, we have to learn to identify them and gather data on them to check on their abundance or lack of.

What was also wrong was I wasn’t allowed to say a proper goodbye to the kids as our project folded and we had to leave….. and I was told to keep quiet about it to the kids ( not because, we were afraid it will upset them, but because NO ONE, including the paying volunteers, were supposed to know the project wasn’t continuing due to lack of new volunteers, for the sake of our ‘morale’, and probably, reputation and face. What borsch!) Of course, I disobeyed my director and project manager.

While the project manager and other volunteers were making their way back to the boat at the end of our last session with them, I lingered behind, ran to their houses,,,,,,,gathered the kids and said goodbye…. I didn’t say we were not coming back. I just said goodbye and take good care… but they know we were not coming back. Weren’t they smart? They just all came around and gave me a big hug. Damn, I was heartbroken.

Never betray children, especially those who trust you. It left such a bad taste with me with my NGO/employer, and I would not forgive myself for leaving without bidding farewell ! I still have the photos of the kids. And those were happy times.

The other thing that was wrong was I didn’t keep in touch with any of them. No emails ( they do not have those there). I wrote a letter to be passed to them with my email…. but may be I didn’t try hard enough. You know, it will so make my day if I could just receive something from them one day. Some day. Never mind, I know they will be well.

Bula! Take care you kids. Be good, love the ocean, and don’t live your lives struggling to be impoverished consumers of goods of the developed world which are not going to do you any good.