Dex recently championed another exciting, once-in-a-lifetime safari and conservation experience. Along with a team of conservationists and wildlife relocation specialists, he travelled to Phinda in KwaZulu Natal to relocate a small herd of elephants. A unique and pioneering feature of this Tracking Silent Giants trip, was that it was live-streamed exclusively to an audience of YPO members and families around the globe, of which Dex has been a member since 2008.
A few years ago, I worked for a voluntourism organisation in South Africa. We had a big group of volunteers arrive from overseas and all of them had one request for their time in South Africa – to pet a lion cub. Apparently, they had seen pictures of people doing just this all-over social media, so naturally they wanted to have a go too. Unfortunately, at this point, I was only at the beginning of learning about the bush and hadn’t trained as a field guide yet or studied conservation biology so, in my naivety, I had no idea of the implications of what we did next. One Saturday morning we loaded the cars with the volunteers and drove an hour down the road to a ‘wildlife sanctuary’ where we got to spend time with two lion cubs. The sanctuary owner claimed that they were orphans.
What is the single biggest threat to polar bears?
Without a doubt, it’s global warming. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. This is having a profound impact on Arctic sea ice, which polar bears rely on for hunting their seal prey. Ringed seals, the polar bear’s main prey, rely on the sea ice, too, for giving birth to their pups and raising them.
Earth Day 2020 will forever be remembered as The Earth Day When the World was Still. Never before in the entire history of the Earth as we remember it, has the concept of nature as a global network been better underscored than at this moment in time. The ripple effect of one microscopic organism that originated in a far-flung corner of the globe, has given us chance to press pause and reflect.