The Guardian; Walking With Giants

         There is a distinct silence that has emerged from within the vanishing harbors of ancient forests. Tracks made by animals who once traveled across vast lands, untouched by the hands of man, continue to vanish, leaving behind only shadows that move through the lingering mist like phantoms. A haunting reminder of what once was.

        Giants that danced to the rhythm of the wind, bridging the gap between heaven and Earth, have now grown tired; brittle from the storms of industry. Their roots, weaving like veins deep within the earth, struggle to cling to life, everyday their pulse growing more faint. When the protectors of this world falter and their strength can no longer withstand the battle waged against them, they call to those who lay quietly in waiting.

         Like the wolf pulled into sorrowful song by the moon, there are those who are pulled by all that is wild and untamed.  A people born of the earth, wide eyed and full of mystery, emerge from the mountains and seas in a thunderous fury. Standing beside the weak and fallen, cloaked only in hope and the promise of preservation, they are the voices for those who cannot speak. Cleverly disguised as men, women, conservationists, activists, advocates, and environmentalists…they are the guardians of all that threatens to be lost.
        Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya [http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/] the last male Northern White Rhinoceros clings to survival, he is but one of 3 Northern White Rhinos left in the world. His horned severed to help aid in his protection from poachers, he has become a mere reflection of the great numbers and majesty of his kind. An entire species annihilated for nothing more then the price tag shackled around their horns.
       Eyes reflecting a deep sadness serve as a sorrowful reminder of the failures of man kind and the wake of devastation left in the path of recklessness. With captive breeding attempts proving unsuccessful, hope for the survival of the Northern White Rhinoceros is uncertain. Refusing to succumb to the defeat of hopelessness four armed men walk beside the footprints of a giant, never leaving Sudan’s side. Carrying within them the heart of a warrior. Risking their life for the life of another, fighting to ensure that Sudan’s story, his existence, does not vanish. [https://www.gofundme.com/olpejeta]
       Guardians, like those who guard Sudan, serve as a reminder that the naive stigma sold by corporations that there will always be “more” is indeed false. There is but one truth that remains irrefutable; when the need for monetary gain surpasses the value of life the kingdom will fall, and now, we watch as it crumbles at our feet.
       An inanimate object made of paper and ink has been deemed the world’s greatest villain. Money, as told, is the root of all evil. The defining force behind the devastation and corruption of man. The absurdity in the knowledge that such a phrase not only exists but is used to deflect the burden of blame is utterly disturbing. As if to say that the dollar bill laying folded and crumpled within the my pocket has the authority to govern and dictate my values, morals and conscience.
       Only those who turned loose of their grip on human decency long ago, scattering it amongst their path of destruction, whilst clinging tightly to their demons, can be persuaded by something so small.  The evil of the world does not exist within cliche phrases nor the pursuit of riches it exists within the darkened an unkempt realms of dominion.
        The pursuit of power over religion, freedom, industry, cities, countries, race and even the earth herself, has bookmarked a dark page in history the history of man. Though there are perhaps none who have bore the scars and burdens of the pursuit of dominance more, and on such a vast scale, than that of the animal kingdom.
       Creatures who intoxicate onlookers with their sheer size and grandeur are ripped from the wilds and confined within shackles and chains.Their world, once vast and limitless, now bound within the confines of an illusion; placed neatly behind plexiglass windows and barred exhibits. Long gone are the days of casual dissonance, shifting our eyes from the truth to avoid the acknowledgement of the suffering caused by the selfish wants of others, or often at times, ourselves.
“Many, in an attempt to justify the captivity of wild a and endangered species proclaim that it is the only way to ensure their survival….as if to insinuate that the very actions contributing to loss of habitat and rise in endangered animals can simultaneously save it.” Alastriona Tomasco
             It has been demonstrated through numerous failed attempts at captive breeding and reintroduction of an endangered species to the wild, that it is an unreliable means of redemption. Though there have been cases where it has aided in rebuilding the quantity of a population, the lack of biodiversity and health that accompanies it, leaves animals at a continued risk both while in confinement and upon their reintroduction into the wild. Ideals behind captive breeding falter in the most crucial of areas; the continued flourishing of a species upon being returned to it’s natural environment.
            Failure to enforce protection of habitat, anti poaching laws, and regulations in the animal trade and captive (for exploitation) industry have resulted in the continuous and devastating decline for a vast majority of our world’s most vulnerable species. The science behind preservation is simple yet unequivocal; if the natural world is to flourish it must remain hidden from peering eyes and grasping hands, with protections made boundless and unabated.

“Globally, there are about 1,000 African elephants in human care, mostly in zoos, and upwards of 16,000 Asian elephants in zoos, circuses, sanctuaries, logging and tourist camps. Unfortunately, most captive elephant populations are not self-sustaining due to high mortality and low birth rates, and supplementation by wild capture and/or importation is widespread.” (Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conversation Biology Institute)

Life, music in motion. The rhythm of the heart beating in time with the wings of eagles, as their sheer majesty rises to the heavens dancing upon the wind. It is a magic unlike any other. Invaluable. Their is no line of distinction that declares the life of one more valuable than that of another. If we are to value life, we must do so without distinction. For the lion does not know that his life means less than the cost of the hide upon his back.

“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” Diane Fossey

The hands of time cannot be rewound. Mistakes that have brought the world to this crucial moment stare at us from behind eyes of suffrage, pleading for an awakening of conscience. An acknowledgement of a lifetime of miscalculated judgements that have resulted in a catastrophic and unprecedented loss. There is a great compassion that exists within humanity, it need only to be reawakened.

Written By: Alastriona Tomasco

 

A dedication to the lives fallen, the lives of those who continue to fight, and to those who fight along side them.

Emerging like phantoms they rise against the darkness, a boundary that protects the world that exists just beyond invisible borders. Cleverly disguised as men, women, conservationists, environmentalists, activists, naturalists, biologists and scientists, they carry within them the heart of a hero, cloaked in nothing more than the promise of preservation…..walking in the footprints of giants.

2017 List of Endangered Species:

(thousands), Cheetah is missing from the list but is also endangered.http://www.earthsendangered.com/list.asp

 

 

 

 

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