On July 31st we began our adventure to the anticipated Etosha National Park. I had to wake up by 4:30 am, eat breakfast around 5am, and be ready to head out by 6am. We anxiously awaited the opening of the gates since the gatekeeper had woken up late. As the gates opened, I suddenly remembered my childhood memories and thinking what it would be like to see these animals in their natural habitat. Although we cannot communicate with animals they can often give us a lesson on how to be better human beings.
As we approached the first waterhole, we were not expecting to see any of the major animals until a while into the drive. To our surprise there was an older lone lioness to the right of our bus headed toward the water hole, where a pride already resided. When the pride approached the older lioness, she lay down and both the pride and the lioness acknowledged each others presence as a sign of respect.
Many people believe animals are not capable of showing emotions, such as respect, care, or loyalty. The truth is some animals show more emotions towardeach other than do humans. An example of respect would be the older lioness and the pride, which acknowledged each other as they were passing by. We as humans live in a fast paced world where we often pass by people we know and not acknowledge their presence. Whether it is because you’re in a hurry or because you simply choose to ignore them. An example of care and protection would be elephants, as they circle around their offspring to protect them from potential threats. Most parents do provide such care and protection for their young, however many parents often get caught up in their busy schedules. Thus leaving their children unattended and prone to suffer a mistreatment or traumatic experience. Both the pride and the elephants also portray loyalty because they will defend each other when one is vulnerable. Humans tend to express this as well, however loyalties are tested when ones selfish thoughts get in the way.
People often do not realize that animals and humans often share similar experiences. Such as the black Namibians, which were forced to move by Windhoek’s town council to the new Katutura area to use the land for other purposes. The same happened to Native Americans back in the US, when they were forced to move from their homes. Which was accomplished through the Trail of Tears under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Both of these groups to some extent lost the fire in their eyes, and were like wild animals that are captured and taken to zoos. At first, you can still see that fight in their eyes, remembering what it was like to roam free on their lands, but after a while, their eyes just glaze over, with no fight left in them. They often do not fight the government about their civil rights, mistreatment, or lands they’ve lost, because most of these people have fallen into vices of alcohol or drugs. Therefore they are unable to progress and fall into conformity.
Visiting Etosha National Park was a great experience that I will cherish and remember for years to come. It opened my eyes to characteristics that wild animals have and many civilized humans have lost. Animals are precious creatures, which we must respect and admire. Although we cannot communicate with them, there are many lessons to be learned from them.