Australia Zoo Journal UpdateJournal Update
Yes, I am alive and I'll be posting quite a few photos soon. There has been a massive logjam with photos over the past few months, namely because I have been trying to find a job and have lost motivation for my photos in general. However, things have changed lately so I'm hoping to get some work done and share with you some great new photos.
I'll also be sharing with you the rest of my Australia Zoo journal. I posted a first entry, but never did get to the others. Now that I have new motivation, I'm committing to finishing it and sharing with you all my adventures...including an awesome twist that I can't wait to share! Whether you were there with me when I first started this journey or just added me to your +watch list, it should be an interesting read.
In the next few weeks I will be posting journals/blog entries along with photos from my trip starting with the first entry below.
Australia Zoo Journal
-PART 1--PART 2--PART 3--PART 4--PART 5--PART 6--PART 7--PART 8--PART 9--PART 10-Australia Zoo Journal - Part 1
It would be wrong of me to say that this epic journey began on an airplane or in a car. It would also be wrong of me to say that it began with a contest announcement by the Australia Zoo or with a photography sale to raise money for a trip across the sea. No, the first steps on my pilgrimage to the Australia Zoo began well before these things. There could be many places where I could trace the genesis of my journey so I suppose it is arbitrary to find a starting point. Nonetheless, it would be prudent to tell the tale of another journey's beginnings.
Somewhere in Australia in 1992, a newlywed couple was on their honeymoon in the Queensland Outback. This couple was unlike any other not just because of their curious choice of scenery, but because of what they would achieve together. Their names were Steve and Terri Irwin and instead of a traditional honeymoon, they chose to help track a crocodile that was seemingly doomed from potential poachers. With cameras in tow, they filmed their exploits giving birth to what would become the hit television documentary series "The Crocodile Hunter".
Steve Irwin in particular, with a passion and enthusiasm for sharing the world's animals up close with his audience and a larger than life attitude, helped to spearhead the incredible success of the program. Though Steve would be parodied, poked fun at, criticized and misunderstood, the popularity he gained would be used to promote the conservation of many different species, particularly for stigmatized animals like snakes, sharks and crocs. It was Steve's mission to share the amazing traits of the world's animals with his audience whether filming in the wild for his documentaries or at his home, the Australia Zoo; he believed that exciting education coupled with conservation messaging could beget an increasing love and understanding for animals, giving way to their protection.
There were many factors that led for me to develop a passion for animals, particularly tigers, though the work of the Irwin's played a key role. As an audience member, I fell in love with the Crocodile Hunter films and was extremely responsive to the messages that Steve Irwin was trying to convey. I opened up to the idea that even the big scary animals of the world can exhibit some of the greatest virtues and have other incredible traits worthy of appreciation. I also was given a foundation upon which to build a strong desire to get involved in the conservation of these animals.
I dedicated my life to tiger conservation, though I continued to follow the works of the Crocodile Hunter and the diaries of the legendary Australia Zoo. Watching Steve Irwin on the television, I wanted to be able to travel to the Australia Zoo to experience his philosophy for myself; I also had dreams of meeting him and the Irwin's.
I will never forget the sadness I felt when the world lost Steve Irwin in 2006, my first day at university. Though it was a tragedy for all the world's animals and those he left behind, Steve's passing helped to inspire me further; his voice grew stronger within me, his lessons resonated more deeply and my resolve to carry out his mission grew that much more.
During the years at university, I worked hard to develop myself both within the confines of my classes, but also outside them, dedicating my time and striving to make a difference for tigers and in other causes. Never could I have guessed that, just after my last day at university, my work would have taken me to Australia to finally fulfill my dream and experience what Steve and his family had built. Passion and enthusiasm, through action and persistence, helped carry me from the personal tragedy of Steve's death to the personal triumph of living Steve's mission and reaching my own goals previously thought to be impossible.
This is the story of finally visiting Australia and the famous Australia Zoo.
-PART 1--PART 2--PART 3--PART 4--PART 5--PART 6--PART 7--PART 8--PART 9--PART 10-
Learn more about tigers and how you can help!
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal" - Albert Pike