I can’t believe the animals are getting their own blog post! This was originally going to be part of the “adventures” recap, but there were so many fabulous moments that I decided to make a separate part just for the love of all creatures. I have forever had a love of animals (who doesn’t really?), so along the way, I tried to see as many animals as I possibly could, in the wild or in sanctuaries or on the street. Here are my favorites:
I was completely blown away by the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas and the stories of how these lions, tigers, bears, cougars, leopards, etc. came to be living in the USA in various zoos and private residences (!) and how their journey brought them to the refuge. This is not a zoo, they do not breed animals, but it is a place where these majestic creatures can live out their lives after being abandon by their original owners. I had never been so close to these amazing cats, and I had never felt so sad over the ignorance of people who attempt to keep them as household pets. I spent two days here just sitting outside their cages, just watching and talking to them and it wasn’t enough time. (*Insert crazy cat lady joke here*). I highly recommend everyone who can to pay them a visit or ‘adopt’ an animal with a donation.
I know, bugs aren’t really animals….or are they? My entire life I have been incredibly frightened of/annoyed by most all bugs from beetles to ants to spiders. After experiencing more creepy crawly insects in the last year than I have in my entire life, I am proud to say that my fear has disappeared, and I have become obsessed with trying to photograph them (not an easy task with the iPhone!). I know I am crazy, as I tried to photograph a cockroach the other day, but he wouldn’t keep still.
So, through the year my love of animals has grown, as well as my education on how animals are viewed in different parts of the world. I am going to continue to open my eyes and heart to all the critters of the world throughout my travels.