This will be my last post so I decided that instead of talking about something depressing like animal abuse, I’d talk about one of the funniest yet fascinating facts I’ve learned about the ocean. A while back, I discovered a video while searching through the deep depths of YouTube. The video was labeled “Dolphins getting high.” Immediately, I clicked on the video because I was very curious what this was even about. I didn’t trust the title at all and expected some kind of joke of a video. Instead, I was met with a real case of dolphins getting high.
As young teen dolphins swim around, if they find a pufferfish, they will chase it around until they can capture it in their mouth. Once they capture it in their mouth, the pufferfish will inflate and also release a toxin which affects dolphins very similarly to the way that marijuana affects humans. When the dolphins feel this toxin, they begin to relax and can even be heard laughing in their own language. This is extremely funny to me and I just wanted to share it as my last post. If you would like to see the video, just search up “Dolphins getting high.”
In this blog post I wanted to talk about a specific person who has been great to the wildlife not only in America but all around the world. Mike Holston, otherwise known as “The Real Tarzan,” is an animal lover and wildlife preservation activist. He started this amazing part of his life in Miami as a zookeeper which most likely was the start of his love for animals.
I first discovered him on instagram after seeing a post of him playing around with a monkey like a child. Holston has dedicated his life to educating the world of the amazing features of different animals. He makes videos of himself playing around with animals such as snakes, lions, monkeys, iguanas, and alligators. He truly is a fearless person just as Tarzan was. In many of his videos, he is seen with his pet monkey. They seem very close and Holston makes it look like man has a new best friend.
Along with his videos of animals, he also gives life advice and talks about how to succeed and how we should treat others. I find him a very inspirational person especially to the animal loving community. He has many interesting videos on his instagram which I think you should check out and he also has a website here: https://www.therealtarzann.com
A little over a week ago, I talked about how dogs can help humans in their times of need. This blog will be more about how humans mistreat their pets despite their innocence. All across the world, pet animals such as dogs, cats, and birds are abused and shown merciless violence. On Instagram, I recently saw a video of dogs’ legs being cut off while they are still alive and other dogs being tied up and thrown into boiling water. It was extremely graphic and very hard to watch. While these seem very extreme, they are not far off from the normal cases of animal abuse.
If you are a pet lover, do not read past this point. In some cases, there have been cats who are microwaved and cooked internally until they die. Dogs in Indonesia are beaten with a club and left bleeding on the floor to die. Then they are cooked and eaten or traded. Pet owners in the United States have been found guilty of crimes such as cutting pets’ ears and legs off or hanging them with a noose. Others have mass murdered animals. These people include pet shelter owners. Animal abuse happens everywhere and anywhere. Pets and other animals are suffering and they have no voice. This needs to stop now. If you want to help a cause that is based around stopping these horrific actions, visit: https://www.aspca.org
Everyone loves man’s best friend, the dog. Over the past few months, I have seen first hand how a dog can positively affect someone’s life. My friend just recently got a small puppy. Before this, they were suffering with anxiety and were stressed about school and other life problems. Throughout the last few months, I have seen this person warm up as they get closer and closer to their dog. The strong bond between dogs and humans is one that is unbreakable.
This leads me to the topic of service dogs. I don’t think people know exactly how much dogs can help a person. Dogs of all shapes and sizes can be recruited as service dogs for a wide variety of disabilities. These disabilities include anxiety, paralysis, etc. There are approximately 500,000 service dogs helping humans all across America. With no other animal can that number be matched. Knowing this, I hope that everyone develops a newfound respect for their dogs because they are one of the most loving and caring species one earth.
It’s only April but you can really start to feel the heat and humidity. This has started to remind me of global warming. I’m sure everyone has heard the term global warming and how it is affecting our planet. This is caused by all the greenhouse gasses that we emit everyday when we drive our cars, produce electricity from fossil fuels, etc. It is upsetting that we are so heavily reliant on so much planet harming technology.
As we attempt to shift towards a more eco friendly future, everyone needs to be more aware about their fossil fuel usage and see what they can do to save the planet. Scientists estimate that if we continue down the path we are on now, there will be no turning back and global warming will surely kill everything on earth. Taking this into consideration, in the future, think about possibly using electric cars and installing photovoltaic panels. If a majority of the earth’s population did this, we would see global warming take a turn for the better.
The other day, I was surfing near Waikiki at Tongs. As I paddled through the glassy water at around 8am, it seemed like a perfect day. The waves were decent, the sun was up, and there were no clouds in sight. Suddenly I saw something pass by. It was a white plastic bag floating on the surface of the water. All of a sudden a turtle came out of nowhere and snatched it in it’s mouth. When I got home, I went on instagram and saw a video of some people taking out a plastic straw from a turtles nose. The turtle seemed in so much pain and there was blood everywhere. This inspired me to do some research about the correlation between turtles and plastic.
Through some research, I discovered that more than half of the worlds turtles have plastic in their digestive system. Due to this, six out of the seven turtle species are considered threatened. Turtles are mainly herbivores that eat seaweed and kelp and of course…plastic. It is believed that 13 pieces of plastic is enough to begin to cause health issues to a turtle. If you think about it, 13 pieces is barely anything considering turtles live up to 80 years. In this amount of time, they could eat thousands of pieces of plastic by accident. Plastic is especially dangerous to baby turtles because baby turtles float with the current of the ocean just as baby turtles do throughout the first few years of their life. I’m sure many of you don’t want little Squirt from Nemo to die because some straws from McDonald’s got stuck in his throat. Although we see plastic as a tool that is heavily used, it should also be seen as a threat. Next time you get a straw from McDonald’s, dont throw it away. Put it in the plastic recycle bin and if possible refuse it from the cashier and drink it straight from the rim instead.
Have you ever wondered how humans produce so many eggs for so many different people? When most people buy their white or brown eggs in cartons at the grocery store, they do not think of exactly where it came from. The backstory to this is very sad and shows just how cruel humans can be.
In egg producing warehouses, thousands and thousands of battery cages holding hens are placed on top of each other. They are confined to a small space limiting their movement basically to nothing. When they lay their eggs, their eggs are taken away from them and packaged for shipping. However, when these eggs find a way to hatch, the little baby chicks are killed in a grinder which plucks their feathers and crushes them. Think about the chick emoji being thrown into a bunch of turning gears and killed. Hens also begin to stop laying eggs after two years. After these two years, they are slaughtered and their bodies discarded. Every year, approximately 100 million hens are killed. This is sad and hopefully this process can be refined and be made more humane in the future.
Many people nowadays are led to believe that sharks are mean, ugly, predators that are the villains of the ocean. However, this is many times not the case. Today, we see millions of sharks killed by the real villains of the ocean: humans. Each year, approximately 100 million sharks are killed for a certain part of their body, the fin. These fins are popular amongst Asian countries in order to make shark fin soup. Approximately one fin could be valued up to $500 a pound which is the main reason why shark finning is still moderately popular. This is not good in any way. Sharks have very slow growth and reproduction rates which makes shark finning a huge threat towards their species. Some shark populations have decreased by 60-70% due to these hunts.
When the sharks are killed for their fins, the methods are very inhumane. They are first caught in a net and hauled onboard where their fins are then cut off while they are alive by knives, chainsaws, and other various sharp objects. With none of their fins remaining, they are then tossed back overboard in a motionless state. They cannot swim without their fins causing them to die very slowly and in extreme pain. Sharks are not the evil villains that many people think they are. Although there are many shark attacks each year, it is often because people are mistaken as turtles or other prey or that they’re behavior came off as aggressive. Sharks are beautiful creatures who can sometimes be very friendly and intelligent.
Just recently, the Japanese began their annual six month hunting season of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. For six months each year, fisherman turn their attention towards the hunting of dolphins and small whales. They are found out in the ocean in pods and scared into a cove. They are then trapped by a net which stretches from each side of the cove. After this trapping process, dolphins who are big enough are slaughtered for their meat. Keep in mind that dolphins are one of the smartest animals on the planet so when their family is slaughtered, the survivors are most likely traumatized and cannot live without their pod. The water is turned red with blood. The remaining dolphins are either let free or captured alive to be sold.
The Japanese hunters claim that this is for research purposes and also say that if they do not do the dolphin hunt, then their local economy would perish. In their attempt to lighten the criticism from the world on their tragic killings, they state that they only capture a certain amount of dolphins a year. They try to trick the media into believing this by capturing more dolphins and putting them below deck to suffocate. Many of these fisherman have been reported of laughing at these dying dolphins as they flop helplessly below deck. To me, dolphins are one of the most amazing creatures. I have swam with them and also heard stories of miraculous things they have done such as saving humans from sharks. It’s tragic to hear that such a thing is happening in the world to one of the most intelligent and social animals on the planet.
A very widely known problem is the poaching of elephants in Africa. This has been an ongoing threat which has heavily destroyed the wild elephant population in the safari. Till this day, poachers still hunt down elephants for one very valuable material: ivory. Ivory is what an elephants tusk is made out of. It can sell for up to $1500 each pound and an elephants tusk can grow to about 250 pounds. This means a lot of money for poachers to be supplied with. Many people have tried to do things about the issue of elephants being hunted. In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild introduced a ban on the trade of ivory. For a short while, it worked and elephant species were recovering but lately it has been wearing off. Poachers are becoming more and more audacious and have found ways through the system such as the black market.
When these elephants are hunted, they are killed in ways very similar to rhinos. They are shot with guns which do not necessarily kill them or tranquilizer darts. After they are brought down in any way possible, they are stripped of their entire front section of their face including their tusks. They are then left alive on many occasions. African elephants are decreasing in numbers very very quickly. From 1979-1987, more than half of the African elephant population was killed for their tusks. If this continues, we are looking at a world without one of the most majestic animals on the planet: the elephant.