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10 amazing places to see animals in the wild

10 amazing places to see animals in the wild

Posted 6 October 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: wildlife, nature, travel, exotic animals

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.

Churchill, Canada

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 »

Costa Rica

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 »

Great Barrier Reef, Australia
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 »

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

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 Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

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 »

Kangaroo Island, South Australia

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 »

Kaikoura, New Zealand

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 »

Borneo

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 »

Your couch

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.

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Snuggle Coats is bringing fur back ... to the animals!

Snuggle Coats is bringing fur back ... to the animals!

Posted 7 August 2015   by Amy         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: fur, wildlife, Snuggle Coats, minks

We all know cruelty is not a good look. So what to do with the fur coat we've had since long before a glimpse inside fur farms made us realise that dead animals are not a fashion statement?

Aussie-based Snuggle Coats has found the kindest solution EVER. They're collecting the unwanted fur garments hidden away in the backs of closets and donating them to wildlife rescues to comfort the animals in their care -- turning something tragic into something heart warming :)

Here's some gorgeous pics of rescued animals nestling into Snuggle Coats furs. Prepare to have little cartoon love hearts coming out of your eyes ...

Orphaned flying fox
A young flying fox nestles in a Snuggle Coats fur at Tolga Bat Hospital. Image: Sarah Thorpe. 

Bruce the kangaroo
Bruce the kangaroo relaxes in his Snuggle Coat's fur-lined pouch at Gladstone & District Wildlife Carer's Association.

Baby ringtail possum
A baby ringtail possum keeping cosy and warm at FAWNA (NSW).

Anzac the wombat
4 month old Anzac looks super comfortable in his Snuggle Coat at Wombat Ridge Wildlife Shelter.

Could that baby wombat be any more adorable? Once he has grown, Anzac will be returned to the wild where he can live out the rest of his life in his natural habitat, just like all animals should.

Comforting rescued wildlife is easily our second favourite way to see fur. The first is on it's original owner -- animals.

Curious mink
In the wild, minks live close to streams and lakes where they swim, climb trees, make nests and hunt.

Sadly, millions of animals -- including minks, rabbits, foxes, possums and raccoons -- are still kept in apalling conditions in fur factory farms. They are then electrocuted or gassed for their furs with some even beaten to death or skinned alive.

Is personal taste reason enough to end someone's life?

Mink fur farm
On fur farms, minks are forced to live in small wire cages where they're unable to express their natural desires, which leads to chronic boredom and stress.

Nope.

Thanks to Snuggle Coats, we now have the opportunity to try and make amends for the mistakes of the past, and move towards a kinder world. Find out how you can help give fur back to the animals.

More ways to help:

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Save Animals This Clean Up Australia Day!
Posted By Jane

Save Animals This Clean Up Australia Day!

Posted 24 February 2011   by         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: environment, rubbish, plastic bags, Clean Up Austraila Day, wildlife

Pristine beaches, beautiful coastlines, incredible rainforests, arid deserts and crisp clean snow - Australia is without a doubt one of the most amazing countries in the world.

So don't you just hate it when you see rubbish littering this beautiful landscape? I mean, when you find out how rubbish affects our environment, you quickly realise it doesn't just look ugly, it can be a serious danger to our wildlife. That's why you'll catch me with my gloves on, cleaning up next Sunday (6th March) for Clean Up Australia Day!

I remember first hearing how plastic bags can wash into oceans and be eaten by turtles, dolphins, birds, etc - blocking their digestive tract, causing them to slowly starve. Now, I can't walk by a stray plastic bag (esp. near waterways) without picking it up and putting it in a bin! This story of 'The Majestic Plastic Bag' puts it well:

And plastic bags are just the start...

You wouldn't think that something as small as the plastic ring around the top of a drink or vitamin bottle could do much harm. But check out what happened to this turtle, who got caught in a plastic ring at a young age, and literally grew around it!
This magpie didn't fare much better! Btw, simply cutting rings before tossing them out is a simple way to avoid this happening to any other animals.

And seeing a snake with her head trapped in a soft drink can is just saddening. Especially when you know how easy it would have been to crush the can and put it in a bin!

Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday, March 6th is a fantastic opportunity to help make Australia even more beautiful, save animals from falling victim to our litter and meet some other caring cleaner-upperers! There are over 5000 volunteer sites all over Australia and you can find one near you simply by typing your postcode in here. If you know of a site that needs attention, you can register that as well!

I'll be down at my local creek the morning of Sunday the 6th, clearing away hazards to animals and prettying up the place! I hope to see you out there!

Are you taking part in Clean Up Australia Day? Where do you plan to clean up?

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Helping animals affected by the QLD flood disaster

Helping animals affected by the QLD flood disaster

Posted 12 January 2011   by Karen         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Queensland, floods, wildlife, rescue, donate

Like thousands of people in Queensland today I woke to an eerily quiet and sunny morning. Tragic floods are sweeping the state but today the rain had finally stopped. It was the driest day we'd seen in a week, but that didn't stop the waters from steadily rising and engulfing large parts of Brisbane, Ipswich, and the South-East throughout the day.

Sandbagging is well underway and neighbours are helping to move furniture, valued possessions and other "floatables" to higher ground. The emergency services are doing a great job to ensure residents in flood zones are prepared for when the water arrives. But what about all those animals who don't know what's coming?

At the end of our street the floodwaters had cut off traffic where I found two young boys poking and prodding the helpless critters who were all clambering for safety at the water's edge. I showed them how to rescue these tiny animals and to my delight they took it upon themselves to become a mini rescue team for stranded caterpillars, beetles and other harmless little critters who would all have otherwise drowned! Yes, even the teeniest, tiniest of creatures need our help in times of emergency.

Across town, RSPCA Queensland is doing a great job of looking after displaced cats and dogs, despite their head office at Fairfield being evacuated due to floods! But shelter is scarce and they are appealing for anyone in Brisbane who can foster animals to e-mail [email protected]

Wildlife carers have an even tougher job on their hands caring for injured and orphaned wildlife. But many are struggling to reach flood-affected areas to assess the extent of the devastation. One thing is for certain -- habitats have been destroyed and animals with nowhere to go will need a lot of assistance in the coming months. Animals Australia has donated $1,000 to the emergency wildlife rescue appeal. If you want to donate too, here's the direct link!

If you live in one of the flood-affected areas, please keep the local radio on, and stay safe and dry -- and remember to also look out for our animal friends who need an extra helping hand!

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The Unleashed Summer Survival Guide!
Posted By Jane

The Unleashed Summer Survival Guide!

Posted 15 December 2010   by         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Summer, pets, Christmas, dogs, cats, wildlife

Koala-drinking-from-pool.png&x=250&y=187

It took its sweet time but summer is finally here! Sun, surf, cricket on the beach, festive get togethers and of course, hot hot hot weather!

If you saw that picture of a koala cooling down during a heatwave in Adelaide a few years back, you'll know how important it is to keep cool, and help our pets and surrounding wildlife keep cool too!

So may I introduce the ultimate 10 point Unleashed Summer Survival Guide!

  1. lorikeets_drinking-water.jpg&x=250&y=167Be Water Wise! Always leave water out for your own animals as well as the sweltering wildlife, and top it up throughout the day (you'll thank me when you see magpies dunking their heads in the waterbowl!) If you have a pool make sure you cover that when you're not home. They are just so inviting at this time of year that animals may decide they wanna have a pool party, which can lead to trouble when they can't get out! (PS If you have a dog, a shell paddle pool is the best Christmas present you can buy!)
  2. Never Ever Leave an Animal in the Car! Not even for 30 seconds. Even on cloudy days, the temperature inside the car will increase very quickly, even with the window down or the air conditioning on. Pets are at severe risk of heat exhaustion and death in this situation, so it's never worth the risk.
  3. Watch out for Snakes! Those slipperies can really thrive when the weather warms up, so if you're walking your furry friends through bushlands or national parks, be extra careful to avoid snakes and make sure you know what to do if one of them manages to nip your pet. Snakes are attracted to the cover of scrub and long grass. If this sounds like your backyard, mow the lawn (or tell your parents to!) and pay attention for symptoms of snakebite - some are less obvious than others.
  4. Pets are Not Presents! Never ever buy an animal as a gift for someone, no matter how big the puppy dog eyes are! People should only get animals for themselves when they are sure they are ready for the commitment of having a pet, and then it should always be from an animal shelter, never a pet shop.
  5. Secure the Perimeter! Before the festivities start, ensure that your yard/house is safe and secure. Many pets can be spooked by loud noises including storms and especially fireworks. An escape proof property means there's no chance of Fido bolting over a fence or through a window and becoming lost or running into traffic. And ensures you don't spend your Christmas day frantically searching the streets!
  6. cat-thirsty.jpg&x=250&y=152Keep Decorations Out of Harms Way! When hanging ornaments, lights and tinsel on the tree, ensure they are high enough off the ground so as not to become a choking hazard to pets. We all know how much curious cats love shiny things!
  7. Provide a safe haven! When the house becomes crowded with friends and relatives, shy animals can become nervous and seek solitude. Make sure there is always somewhere quiet, away from people, where your animals can retreat to if they need to. You may also need to join them there for some time out by the end of the day! ;)
  8. Ration Leftovers Wisely! We've all seen the longing eyes of our beloved dogs and cats trying to levitate the food off the table, especially at holiday time. But certain tasty foods are potentially dangerous to dogs or cats and can cause significant damage or even death. While this list is certainly not definitive, some common foods on the Christmas table to avoid feeding your pets include: chocolate, grapes (raisins and sultanas) and nuts (both of which will probably be in your Chrissy pudding), garlic or onion (do you put these in your gravy or stuffing?), sugary candy, yeast (in bread), mushrooms, tomato leaves or stems, anything with caffeine and cooked chicken or turkey bones. Click here for a more extensive list of toxic foods. You should also never give your pets paracetamol, as this can kill the animal not the pain, (besides you may need it yourself for the Boxing Day recovery)! If you suspect your animal may have eaten something that could be harmful, take them to the vet immediately.
  9. dog-in-car.jpg&x=250&y=375Take Them With You! Ask your parents to find pet friendly accommodation if you are planning a trip away. Dr Katrina Warren has a few tried and true pet-friendly holiday spots listed on her website, as well as some very important tips for travelling with pets. If you really can't take your best friend with you, make sure you check out and inspect the best kennels available in your area and book well in advance (they fill up very fast for Christmas time!).
  10. Be Prepared for Wild Activity on the Road! Keep an emergency kit in the car for any unforseen mishaps on the road. As well as food and water for your own animals, make sure you bring extra, along with a blanket and a box in case you come across injured or exhausted wildlife on the road. Save the phone number for the local wildlife rescue service in your phone before you set out.

Let me know if you've got any more tips on how to ensure the festive season is enjoyed by all members of the family!
And for great ideas on having the ultimate cruelty-free Christmas, check out this brand new tradition: Pardon A Pig! Happy Holidays!

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It's Getting Hot in Here!
Posted By Ward

It's Getting Hot in Here!

Posted 11 February 2009   by         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: bushfires, global warming, environment, wildlife, companion animals


In recent weeks there have been more and more emerging stories of how these 40+ C weeks coupled with the Victorian Bushfires are taking their toll on animals, and wild animals are even starting to accept help from their fellow humans. Check out the Sam the Koala taking water from a fire fighter whose picture has made it all around the world!

This serves as an important message folks as the world is heating up due to global warming, animals need our help.

Wildlife: I'm sure you know that Australia is in one of the biggest droughts of our history, therefore water resources for our furry friends are scarce. Please leave containers of water on your property and in local parks for the birds and other wildlife to ensure they have drinking and bathing water. If an animal wanders on to your property, please do not approach it leave a large enough tub of water for the animal to bathe in and keep it cool. If you approach the animal, you may stress the animal and it will be frightened to use the water you have provided.
If you see sick or injured wildlife that you dont know how to help, call your local wildlife group, RSPCA, or vet (some are listed below). Also see information on Wildlife First Aid.

Companion Animals: Make sure you constantly refill their water bowl with cold water - put ice cubes in there to help keep it cool. Before you head out each day, if you know its going to be hot, give them a quick bath or pour some water over them to keep them cool while youre not home (unless theyre cats!). If your family allow it, let them inside with the air conditioning with you. If they live outside, make sure there is plenty of shade (such as trees, building shadows, sail shades) for them because the sun moves throughout the day and UV rays can hurt our little ones, and the pavement can become extremely hot. If you have fish in a fishpond, make sure its out of direct contact with the sun as the water can heat up rapidly and literally boil them alive! And never leave a dog in a hot car.

A few local wildlife groups in your state (for a more comprehensive list, visit www.fauna.org.au):
(Note: Please do not email these groups to report injured wildlife these animals need immediate attention and you should call them).

VIC

DPI emergency hotline (for farm animals)136 186
RSPCA (for domestic and wildlife)9224 2222
Wildlife Victoria Emergency Hotline1300 094 535
Uni Melb Werribee Vet Clinic Emerg. & Critical Care*9731 2232
Fun4Paws (looking after fire victims' pets)
0415 104 044
SA

Fauna Rescue of South Australia
08 8289 0896
Koala Information Service08 8273 5110
ACT
RSPCA Wildlife 02 6287 8100/ 0413 495 031
NSW
WIRES1300 094 737
QLD
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service1300 130 372
NT
Wildlife Rescue Darwin0409 090 840
WA
Dept. Env. & Cons. Wildcare Helpline08 9474 9055
TAS
Nature Conservator03 6363 6162
Central North Wildlife Care & Rescue0409 978 064

*University of Melbourne Werribee vet clinic has offered to provide free treatment to pets and horses injured in the fires.

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