A handshake, a kiss on the cheek, a bow... We humans have many different ways of greeting each other, depending on context and culture. Animals, too, have a huge variety of greetings, some eerily similar to ours and some specific to their species. Here are the different ways in which animals say "hello" to each other.
It was Monday 10 November when we heard the news, Tim the famous Amboseli Tusker had a serious injury and ground teams had been unable to locate him. It is the type of news you dread, and immediately brings to mind two other mighty Tuskers of Kenya, Mountain Bull and Satao, both killed this year by poachers.
There are plenty of wildlife experiences that might draw you to South East Asia, with its brilliant diversity of tropical species and being home to some of the world's most iconic species. Unfortunately there are many practices for tourists that can have a negative effect on the wellbeing of these animals, such as increasing the demand for species that are often endangered in the wild to be poached for shows and street spectacles.
For the moment, Japan seems intent on launching its plan for a new 'scientific' whaling programme in the Southern Ocean. Whilst it has some allies, the issue drives a wedge between Japan and many other nations. Japan may be able to deflect charges against whaling, including that it is cruel, by casting such criticism as a form of anti-Japanese cultural imperialism. Our only hope is that, given the ICJ ruling is above any rhetoric or politics, perhaps those in power in Japan will be better able to see that commercial whaling is ecologically unsound, uneconomic and, in terms of international relations, disastrous.
There are plenty of adorable animals with majestic appearances such as pandas or tigers, however there are also many bizarre looking animals that may not appeal to us humans. Charles Darwin has taught us that animals undergo constant evolutionary selection so that the seemingly disfigured animals are actually naturally adapted to thrive in their habitats.
This place, which in area is the same as 50 football pitches, is dripping with the history that encapsulates the story of the British Isles... These jewels in the National Trust crown have drawn people for a huge variety of reasons. Whether as a place to escape the rat race, a place to be at one with nature or a place to fire the imagination.
It took me a week to get used to the environment, as even though I liked the food, I struggled to eat much, though I soon got my appetite back to its usual size once I had adjusted to the climate and my malaria pills. Anyway despite my lack of energy I still enjoyed the quick intro into PADI (I found that I was at a slight advantage as I had already started working through the book).
Foxes are cute, fox cubs particularly cute, it's understandable that they get a lot of attention and attract compassion. But that compassion should be encouraged for all of our natural world, and all of our human world. The potential is there in all of us, but at the moment our political rhetoric and policies are all discouraging, repressing that.
Seeing a whale in the wild has always been on my bucket list. The grandeur of the creatures is undeniable. People I know who have become involved in organisations like the Sea Shepherds talk of their first encounter with a whale to be this all encompassing moment of epiphany that changed the course of their lives.
Usually every African holiday destination is titled ''wildlife filled safaris, castaway coastlines, beach & bush breaks, etc but this really had been an incredible, unique experience. Today's demanding travellers want this and a lot more and Namibia is one of the only countries I've visited that I can truly say has it all.
Nothing makes a good holiday brochure richer than the generic picture of a couple aloft an elephant, trekking through lush forest. What could be more authentically backpackery than that? A truly 'real' experience - just add some fire-juggling, a full moon party and copious amounts of local spirits and you have 1000 Facebook likes right there...