Amazing. The pair of whales who popped up to say hello to paddle boarder Dave are Southern Right whales, of which there are only around 7,000 left! Dave's friend Jaimen jumped on the chance to film this incredible encounter on his drone camera, which is why we're lucky enough to be able to see it.
The best bit about this video is that Dave got to see these amazing animals where they belong -- in the ocean. Animals like whales deserve to live freely and happily, and it's this realisation that has helped many people come to the decision that a tank is no place to see a marine animal. (Here's 5 more reasons animals don't belong in tanks.)
For the animal lover, seeing an animal in captivity is no way to see an animal at all. So we're lucky to live in a time where it's increasingly easy to see wild animals in the wild, as they should be. Here's 10 incredible places across the world where you can observe animals in their natural habitat.
Nicknamed the 'polar bear capital of the world' Churchill in Hudson Bay is one of the few places where polar bears can be seen in the wild. There are a variety of 'Tundra' adventures to choose from, which offer guided viewing of the bears. Churchill is also home to around 3,000 beluga whales during the summer months and a great place to view the Northern Lights. More »
Yep, the whole of Costa Rica! The jungles of Costa Rica are brimming with monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, lizards, frogs and birds. More than 27% of the country is nature conservation areas. You can also head to Tortuguero -- a town with no cars and no streets -- during September and October to watch hundreds of baby turtles hatch on the sandy beaches and make their way into the ocean. Or head to Costa Rican Sloth Sanctuary to see some rescued sloths. More »
Apparently, the Great Barrier Reef is home to the happiest fish in the whole wide world.
One of the seven wonders of the world and the most extensive reef system on Earth – the Great Barrier Reef is home to a an abundance of marine species including turtles, sharks, fish and coral. More »
The mountains of Volcanoes National Park are a safe haven for the mountain gorilla, with 18 gorilla groups living in the protected forests. An incredible 300 of the estimated 850 mountain gorillas remaining in the world live here. Gorilla trekking permits are required, to limit the number of visitors out of respect for the gorillas. More »
The inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands has amongst its residents species that are found nowhere else in the world. Isolated from the mainland, and devoid of predators, the Islands have become a tropical paradise. Giant tortoises, penguins, seals and the aptly named blue-footed boobies are just some of the incredible animals who live peacefully in this largely untouched paradise. More »
*This very delicate ecosystem can be impacted by tourism. Be sure to talk to your travel agent about respectful travelling.
The Serengeti is perhaps one of the best places to see large numbers of animals in their natural habitat. It's well known for being able to spot the 'big five' -- a term coined by hunters but largely reclaimed by tourists referring to lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinoceroses. The Serengeti also boasts one of the greatest migration systems in the world, with an estimated 2 million wildebeest, giraffes and zebras migrating together at different times of the year. More »
Australia's national icon abounds in the native bushland on Kangaroo Island. Along with kangaroo and wallaby spotting, Kangaroo Island is home to Australian seals, penguins, koalas, echidnas and, at the right time of year, whales can be spotted off the island's shores. More »
The south island whale watching hotspot of Kaikoura is one of the only places in the world where you can see sperm whales all year round. Humpback whales and orcas also populate the area at certain times of the year and dolphins, seals and albatross can be spotted all year round. More »
Home to 10 different primate species as well as elephants, leopards, rhinos, reptiles, birds and more, the tropical rainforests are alive with colourful and varied wildlife. Borneo is one of only two places in the world where orangutans still survive. The orangutan's greatest threat is habitat destruction for palm oil plantations. Fred Galdikas from Orangutan Conservation International believes that increasing tourism to the area is helping locals realise that orangutans are 'Borneo's treasure' and they need to be protected. Ask your travel agent how your trip can help contribute to the conservation and protection of this incredible species. More »
The simplest and most affordable way to see animals in their natural habitat -- through your TV screen. Nature and wildlife documentaries can offer amazing insights into the lives of animals, often allowing you to get (virtually) closer than you ever would be able to in the wild. (And no animal has to spend their lives in captivity for the sake of entertainment.)
Do you know a great animal documentary? Share in the comments below.
Wow. Some shocking stats have come out of the NSW Greyhound industry -- an inquiry has found that anywhere between 13,000 and 17,000 greyhounds are killed every year! What's more, the Inquiry heard that as few as 4 in every 100 dogs born into the industry will make it beyond 2 months of age :(
Last night on The Project, a greyhound trainer admitted that to get to zero greyhound deaths is just not possible. We have a rescue greyhound who "works" in our office and it breaks my heart to think that he very well could have been one of the dogs in these awful statistics. When he broke his leg, his trainer was getting ready to "dispose" of him but he got a lucky save.
Blue is the sweetest, gentlest dog and many greyhound owners would say this is typical of his breed. So to me, anything more than zero is an unacceptable number of greyhound deaths. And the greyhound trainer was wrong to say it's not possible. It is possible. Just not while greyhound racing exists.
Two greyhound trainers told the NSW inquiry that 90% of trainers are involved in brutal 'live baiting' of possums, piglets, rabbits and other small animals. Not surprisingly, greyhound racing is facing calls to be shut down. But we don't have to wait for the laws to change to bring an end to greyhound racing. The most powerful thing you can do to help dogs and other animals is to sign the pledge to never bet on a greyhound race and to encourage your friends and family to do the same.
The trainer interviewed on The Project also said that just like with greyhound racing, the horse racing industry would never be able to guarantee that no horses will die.
Horse racing trainers everywhere.
But it's true -- greyhounds aren't the only victims of Australia's racing industry. Many horses bred to race are killed. Here's what you need to know about horse racing ...
One of the biggest racing events of the year -- the Melbourne cup -- is only a few short weeks away. If you'd like to take a stand against racing, you might like to consider one of these 5 ways to celebrate without cruelty.
Every meal we eat has an impact for animals. You can make that impact a positive one by choosing to spare the lives of animals and eat animal-friendly foods. Take the Veg Week Challenge to save the lives of animals and be kind to the environment too!
Can you believe that many cosmetics and body products are still tested on animals? And clothing containing fur, leather and wool can mean suffering and a life cut short for animals. You can help protect animals by choosing animal-free clothing and body products that aren’t tested on animals.
Hosting a bake sale, taking an epic bike ride or dyeing your hair a crazy colour are just some of the endless things you could do to help raise funds to help animals this week. Create your own customised page and start fundraising today :)
Together we can accomplish amazing things for animals! As a member of Unleashed’s Action Team, you’ll be the first to hear about important actions for animals. It’s easy
to join in and you can participate as much or as little as you like!
And remember, animals can use a helping hand all year round. So if this week's no good for you, any time is a good time to make a kind choice for animals :)
As if it wasn't enough that the dairy industry impregnates a cow and sends her calf to slaughter to profit from her milk, now they're doing this too ...
It's been given the nickname 'cow mootel,' though it's certainly not a place I'd want to check in to. Rather than being allowed to graze in a paddock, cows are put into individual 'chambers' approximately four metres by five metres in size and three metres high. Each cow is isolated, with only the view of another cow suffering in the same way through a glass window. She's harnessed and made to wear what has been described as a nappy and then the temperature is turned up.
Cows produce less milk in hot weather. (Let's be honest, we all get a little bit sluggish in the heat.) But this is bad news for the dairy industry as it means that their most important asset is suffering. Their $$, that is.
Media were asked not to take pictures of cows at the centre. Photo: Laura Poole/ABC.
The 6 'mootel' rooms are part of a science experiment at the National Dairy Centre in Victoria to study the impacts of heat stress on cows. The Victorian Government spent $2.5 million to help build these hot isolation chambers. Cows will be milked and have their 'nappies' changed regularly -- their faeces and urine collected for research. Scientists will study a cow's productivity and emissions with the temperature at 32 degrees for days at a time, which is like being exposed to a heatwave for the cows inside.
Dairy research scientist, Dr Jacobs, said they had the ability to 'dial these up higher' at any time but that it would have animal welfare concerns to take temperatures up to 40 degrees and then put cows back outside to 14 degrees. (Sadly, the Australian live export industry doesn't have the same concerns about subjecting animals to a jump to 40+ degree temperatures. Find out about heat stress on live export animals.)
Dr Jacobs says that the glass windows between these oven-like chambers are also a deliberate animal welfare consideration. "The ability for a cow that's in one of these calorimeters for three or four days to be able to see her neighbour is very much part of keeping her happy," Dr Jacobs said.
Cows are very social animals who not only have best friends, but can get stressed when separated. In these chambers they are powerless to do anything more than suffer in solitude and watch their herd mate be subjected to the same thing on the other side of the glass.
Not surprisingly, the media was asked not to take photos of the cows in their nappies and sweltering hot chambers on the opening day of this facility. Dr Jacobs said that it might be confronting for some people to see the animals in this situation and that the centre did not want to attract "unnecessary" attention from animal welfare bodies.
The fact that the dairy industry is a) doing something that they suspect will upset people and b) wants to keep it hidden should be great cause for concern for the public. But this is far from the first time that the dairy industry has been involved in practices that would concern the public.
In fact, central to the dairy industry's business model is something they'd rather milk drinkers didn’t know, or rather -- someone. This someone is the young calf who is born to keep his mother producing milk. Each year, roughly one million unwanted calves are separated from their mothers and sent to slaughter as 'waste products' in their first week of life -- all so that their mothers' milk can be bottled for human consumption.
Share this graphic to speak out for cows and their calves.
When exposed to the truth of what happens to these calves, people are understandably shocked and more and more caring people are looking to make kinder choices for calves.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get milk without any animal suffering whatsoever. Coconut, almond and soy are just some of the plant-based milk varieties that are widely available on supermarket shelves. What's more, plants don't need nappies, many are resilient to temperature changes and they don't need to be continuously impregnated to produce milk. (Someone ought to tell the dairy industry.) To find out more about the range of options available check out our deliciously dairy-free shopping list.
No matter your species, there's some amazing dads out there. If you know a great dad, send him some thanks this Father's Day.
Marmoset dads piggyback their kids all over the place.
Wolf dads will bring back food for mother and pups in the den while they get strong.
Emperor penguin dads carry the incubating egg around on their feet to keep the baby penguin inside toasty warm.
Red foxes teach their kids to feed themselves by hiding and burying food and encouraging the kits to sniff it out.
Oreophryne frog dads gently hug their babies to keep them from drying out, and to protect them from insects.
If you know a dad who deserves some thanks you could share this with them for Father's Day.
Lots of animals don't have fathers around and likewise, not all humans will share this day with their dad. My heart goes out to those who find Father's Day tough and I hope that no matter what, everyone finds comfort amongst friends and family this Sunday 6th September.
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.