The story is blasting it's way around our internet as we speak, Melissa Bachman - a US TV presenter who stars in a series called Winchester Deadly Passion - has been bombarded with accusations and angry comments after posting a picture of herself next to a lion she has just shot and killed. A public petition has been created to ban her from South Africa stating: "She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation this country prides itself on." But don't people know that this is an event that happens continuously in South Africa? Don't ban the girl, ban the sport!
Today is officially "World Lion Day" - a day to think about these magnificent creatures and spread the word...
The King of the Jungle is under a serious threat.
When most people think of Africa the first creature that comes to mind is the lion... He is an indestructible strength and beauty. None can overpower him.
When most people think of threatened species they think of pandas, elephants, rhinos... Herbivores... Relatively defenceless. But lions? Lions are fierce,powerful, predators! How can lions be under threat?
During the past year I have met some truly remarkable people whilst volunteering and studying in Africa - people who have dedicated their lives to the welfare of animals, who live and breathe conservation and will fight to no end to stand up for what they believe in. Not least of all is my friend, Angie Goodie, who after a life-changing trip has become a dedicated activist fighting to raise awareness to the plight of the highly threatened rhinos.
Unless you've been to Africa I think the tendency is to think that all the animals lions eat are pretty much the same; fast running herbivores who spend most of their day eating grass. I have to say I had no idea how many different species of antelope there are, but when I went to my first volunteer project I was sent a list of 10 different species to learn! I couldn't believe it! I think to truly understand the richness and diversity of Africa you have to understand those at the bottom of the food-chain, the animals that make Africa work.
So! Here I am to introduce you to a few of the species I have come across, and to show you just how diverse they really are.
This past year I have been extremely lucky to have the chance to volunteer and study in South Africa and Namibia over the course of seven months. When I first booked up to go I decided to stay for three months, being a first time traveller and very nervous of going alone I didn't want to put myself down for too long, but also wanted to push myself a bit.
Volunteering in Africa has been the best choice I have made in my life so far, and anyone thinking of going I hope this will help you to make that decision and take a leap!