Whilst I think it is fantastic that people have a fascination, love, and passion for wildlife I am continually battered by these animal lovers having an unquenchable desire to touch, hug and kiss animals that should be left to be wild.
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.
This morning, on 'Sunday Morning Live', I caught a discussion on the development of new advances in technology that may allow us to bring back animals that have become extinct - those such as the Wooly Mammoth, the Dodo, the Chinese River Dolphin... animals that have been driven to extinction by humans. There is no doubt that humans have wreaked havoc on the world, and currently animals are going extinct faster than species can evolve to survive. We are all dominant, all powerful and no other species can win against us in the fight for survival. But does this now give us the right to play "God"? Is bringing back species an attempt to fix the problems that we have caused, or an egotistical display of what we can achieve?
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!