Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Galapagos Islands - wildlife paradise

The Galapagos Islands are nothing like you have ever seen. It's bloody expensive but it's worth every single penny.

The wildlife in the Galapagos Islands is unreal - giant tortoise (bigger than me), land and marine iguanas that look like mini-dinosaurs, Sally Lightfoot crabs that are bright orange, sea turtles, sea lions, sting rays, manta rays, white tip sharks, Galapagos sharks, hammerhead sharks, blue-footed boobies, flamingos, penguins, Frigate birds with heart-shaped red pouches, over 1,500 species of birds and much more.

The best way to get around the islands is by taking a cruise where you do island hiking with knowledgable English-speaking guides and snorkeling and get fed like a Queen each day.

To dive and snorkel with sea lions who come up and blow bubbles in your face and hammerhead sharks, is such a privilege and amazing experience.

It's the best biology class I've taken.

Did you know that 'sharks attack' is NOT due to the fact that they mistake humans as seals due to poor eye sights? In fact, their eye sight is as good as their smell (senses); Sharks attack because when we splash water, it sends magnetic waves to the sharks that resemble the ones caused by distressed animals, like something is injured? So sharks come up and check you out or take a nibble.

Humans are not in their food chain, tests has been done and proven that sharks move away when they smell human blood, even when they can see a tuna but with human blood around it. Also, they belong to the ocean, not us, after all, we invaded their territory at our own risks, it's not the shark's fault.

I have dived with a good number of sharks (not aggressive ones like great white or tiger or bull shark but still...many other species of sharks) and they are not threatening at all. In fact, they are phenomenal and one of the most beautiful creatures in the world.

It breaks my heart when people hate on the Chinese for eating shark fins. I promise you, it's because many of them are not aware of the process and they need to be educated. Just like you don't question how baby lambs are made or cows are slaughtered. The younger generation is more aware but if you are reading this, tell everyone you know (but please be polite and aim to bring awareness, don't challenge them and become a nightmare because how would you feel if someone had a go at you for eating meat)?

There are over a billion Chinese and we need to start somewhere. We can make a change, maybe small but we can. I have started a while ago, if you haven't already, start now.