Russ takes you on a journey most only dream about and shows you how you too can find your Second Wind Giving Back.
So why is this old underground coal mining engineer now in the wilds of Africa helping people save wildlife?
The answer is key to our OVERLANDING experience and drive. It is nice to travel but adventure traveling with an opportunity to give back… is AMAZING!
I must admit back in the day I had no appreciation for tree huggers and resented the environmental regulators and safety inspectors who only got in the way of my production goals.
But being married to a caring woman with a huge heart for wildlife slowly wears on you.
Other things also softened me such as very close safety calls, choking on the thick air pollution of Manila for 2 years (third worst air pollution on the planet), and wondering where all the tropical birds, plants and wildlife had gone from the once island paradise of the Philippines.
Then it happened. While visiting Margrit’s parents in South Africa (2009) we visited the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary to watch Shannon fly her birds. This was no circus act but an amazing dance of rescued raptors responding to their beloved handler.
Owls, Kites, Harriers, Hawks, and her talented Lanner Falcon named “Chicken” (read how he got his name) were orchestrated to educate, amaze, and cause great wonder for the beauty and sensitivity of the planet and its’ creations.
I was so touched my emergency one hundred dollar bill that I’d carried in my wallet for years found a new home.
Over the next few months horrendous facts came to light making this engineer cringe:
- Since I have been alive the lion population has gone from 450,000 to less than 20,000,
- Since the 1800s the wild habitat in Africa has dwindle by more than 80%,
- Wildlife trafficking is the 3rd largest illegal enterprise in the world after guns and drugs,
- By weight a processed Rhino horn is worth more than gold,
- Poaching is not only for hungry populations but big business for Asian syndicates with helicopters and mercenary tactics,
- And the list goes on and on.
What struck me most was the rate we are losing our planet’s precious wildlife resources due to the momentum of global economy growth.
It is wonderful that the middle and upper classes are growing worldwide but their desire for status above what is right is killing off or mistreating wildlife in astounding numbers.
So here we are after four years of trying to help. We work with wonderfully dedicated people doing their best to stem the tide and do what’s right by wildlife.
We tell their stories, get the word out, and funnel funds to needed projects. Is it enough? It is our part. And they are worth it.
ENJOY THE DAY AND DO GOOD!
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