Spirited Mama

Living a SPIRITED life filled with wanderlust, emotions and everything in between

Category: Environment

LOCAL SNAKE WRANGLER JOINS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WILD SHOW

LOCAL SNAKE WRANGLER JOINS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WILD SHOW

 Mbali Mtshali joins Snakes in the City to co-host new season

together with Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett

 snakes in the city; national geographic; snakes; spiritedmama

“Snakes are more afraid of us than we could ever be of them” says local snake handler

National Geographic Wild’s Snakes in the City has long been a viewer favourite as herpetologists Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett respond to call outs to catch and release snakes from homes and buildings in and around Durban. When the eighth season premieres across Africa on Wednesday 6 July at 18:00 (CAT), the two will be joined by local snake wrangler Mbali Mtshali.

Born in Limpopo, Mtshali moved to Kwa Zulu-Natal at young age and had her first exposure to working with reptiles while volunteering at a non-profit organisation. She later cut her teeth handling snakes while assisting at a reptile park. She has since learnt to handle venomous snakes. This dynamic lady also conducts tours at the facility, is full of energy and is a dedicated body builder.

 

In Snakes in the City, our streetwise snake-catchers race across “Snake City” (Durban) to face some of the world’s deadliest snakes in the most bizarre situations and release them back into the wild. When Mtshali joins the team, her skills are immediately put to the test when they go up against a lethal black mamba inside a school, a puff adder in a toilet and an enormous python on a goat farm, not to mention a super-fast monitor lizard in a ceiling, a spitting cobra inside a local shop and many more.

snakes in the city; snakes; national geographic; spiritedmama

“For many years, in my culture, these reptiles have been misinterpreted as a sign of witchcraft, a bad omen and an image of the evil serpent. Working on Snakes in the City shows that residents of Durban can catch snakes too – with the right training” said Mtshali. “My biggest message for viewers and my community is that snakes are not these evil monsters that they have been made out to be – snakes are more afraid of us than we could ever be of them,” she adds.

“National Geographic’s mission is to ignite the explorer in all of us, and our on-screen experts have a huge role to play in achieving this mission, as they share the wonders of our natural world for with viewers,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and General Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “We are excited to welcome Mbali Mtshali to our screens, bringing her infectious energy and passion that, together with Simon and Siouxsie, will go a long way in helping change negative perceptions of these fascinating creatures for National Geographic Wild audiences across the continent.”

Snakes in the City is produced by Earth Touch for National Geographic.

 

How to tune in:

DSTV: Channel 182

StarSat: 221 on DTH, 210 on DTT (250 on DTT in Uganda)

Season 8 premieres on Wednesday 6 July 2022

My kids are beside themselves as they’re avid Snakes in the City fans!

Spirited Mama

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Looking for some unique Adventure for EARTH HOUR 2020 in Joburg and Cape Town?

WWF is planning a unique Earth Hour Adventure in Joburg and Cape Town

On the last Saturday of March (28 March 2020), millions of people around the globe will participate in Earth Hour, one of the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment.

Residents of Johannesburg and Cape Town will have the chance to add their voice to the global drive for positive environmental change with an outdoor adventure to be held at the Kirstenbosch and Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, with the support of Virgin Active.

The first Earth Hour was held in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 as a symbolic lights-out initiative. Today it goes far beyond the symbolic action of “switching off” and has become a catalyst for climate awareness, education, conversation and driving positive legislative and policy changes by harnessing the power of the people and collective action.

 THE EARTH HOUR ADVENTURE

 At this year’s Earth Hour Adventure, Joburgers and Capetonians will take part in an after-dark, family-friendly race across the two beautiful botanical gardens using torches and headlamps to navigate hidden checkpoints along a 5km course. The ‘dash’ will be followed by a bring-your-own picnic on the lawns. Live entertainment will keep the good vibes going and everyone is asked to avoid plastic waste. Coffee lovers are encouraged not to leave home without their reusable coffee mugs!

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Justin Smith, WWF SA Business Development Head, says: “This year’s Earth Hour Adventure takes place against the backdrop of a deepening climate crisis. There has never been a more important time to come together to shine a light on the issues that are holding us back. We can all make small changes in our own lives, and encourage our leaders to make the big decisions, like supporting renewable energy, that are better for people and the planet.”

He adds: “The Earth Hour Adventure is a great way for communities to come together in support of our precious environment. It’s a fun, family-friendly event in a beautiful natural setting and we invite everyone who can to join us to mark Earth Hour together.”

Both events are fundraisers for WWF-SA and proceeds go towards supporting their conservation efforts. For Nature. For You.

earth_hour_environment_family_friendly_fun_walk_night_cape_town_joburg_walter_sisulu_botanical_gardens_kirstenbosch_spirited_mama_wwf_nature_lovers

Event details

Date:                          28 March 2020

Venues:                    Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

Cape Town – Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Time:                         Gates open at 6pm, the ‘dash’ starts at 7pm.

What to bring:         This is a strictly no waste event. Picnic basket and blanket (no food will be on sale and there will be no water stations), headlamps and torches, reusable coffee mugs, drinking cup, mug or bottle.

Entertainment:        CPT MC: Good Hope FM Radio Presenter, Dan Corder. Artist: SA’s Latest Pop/R&B Star Kerwin.

JHB MC: Jozi-based Rap Sensation, Reason HD. Artist: Urban Culture Band L8 Antique.

Online tickets:         Earth Hour Adventure

Cost:                          Adults – R180 and Kids R100 (under 6 years go free)

 Do you partake or observe Earth Hour?

Spirited Mama

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Some further info:

WWF is an independent conservation organisation, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF South Africa is a national office that is part of the WWF network. A local NGO that for 50 years has worked towards the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the well-being of all our people.

* WWF stands for the World Wide Fund for Nature

 

#GoodTidings Advent Calendar to enjoy a #WasteFreeFestive Season with WWF

ENJOY A #WASTEFREEFESTIVE SEASON WITH WWF SA’S #GOODTIDINGS ADVENT CALENDAR

‘Tis the season to be jolly and South Africans are bracing themselves for a sunny festive season filled with family, loved ones and the gift of giving. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa wants to encourage consumers to reduce the amount of waste usually associated with the holidays.
”The WWF mantra is to “refuse, reduce and reuse” and then “recycle”. This includes asking yourself whether you really need what you’re about to buy, taking your own reusable bags along with you to the supermarket, cutting down on packaging, and choosing reusable, durable goods over single-use items. Once you’ve followed all these steps, we also want you to recycle as much as possible.” Says Eitan Prince, Digital Communications Manager with WWF-SA.

How to reduce waste this festive season

A fun, interactive way for consumers to make better choices this festive season is to sign up for WWF’s brand new #GoodTidings advent calendar which is brimming with clever waste curbing ideas.
Daily tidings come in the form of videos, demos, blogs, photo galleries, recipe cards and more created with support from WWF ambassadors including Chef Zola Nene, media personalities Zoe Brown, Carl Wastie, Claire Mawisa and sustainable fashion guru, Jackie May. Here’s a sneak preview on what you can expect from the calendar.
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1. All that glitters is not gold
Sparkly glitter is undeniably festive but much of it’s made from microplastics which can end up polluting the environment or be consumed by fish, birds and other animals. Consider plastic-free décor such as glass jars filled with beautiful succulents and decorations made from fabrics or ribbon.
2. Gift wrapping alternatives
Wrapping paper – its festive, it’s fun, it’s fleeting. Each year tons of it finds its way to landfills so why not use leftover birthday wrapping paper or gift bags? “You could experiment with covering gifts with fabric, old newspapers or put them into any attractive tins, boxes or jars you may have lying around your home or office,” offers Prince.
3. Show love to local producers
There are many local designers and producers making exciting and innovative products from sustainable materials. Gems such as Uzwelo, who teams up with local communities to convert banners to fabric to make functional, fashionable and affordable bags, can all be found on the newly revamped WWF e-commerce site. Prince explains, “Proceeds from these sales help support the WWF’s vital work.”
The festive season no longer needs to be the season of excess and waste. By visiting www.wwf.org.za and downloading the #GoodTidings advent calendar with its waste busting tips, you’re on the right track to being part of the solution for a living planet while having a jolly good time as well. Don’t forget to share!
Happy Festive Season!
Spirited Mama
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spirited_mama_rhino_lion_park_cubs_petting_interaction_no_touch_environment_family_activities_what_to_do_in_joburg

The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve says NO to cub petting!

The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve says NO to cub petting!

 

September 9th 2019 – The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in the Cradle of Humankind will no longer be offering cub petting to the public, with immediate effect.

For 30 years, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve has shared its love of wildlife with South Africans and visitors from across the world. But times have changed. Under the new ownership of the Bothongo Group the reserve is refocusing its efforts on animal welfare.

“As new owners, we have acknowledged that what was acceptable in 1990 when the reserve first opened to the public, may no longer be acceptable in 2019,” says Jessica Khupe, Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve Brand Manager. “Human beings have always wanted to get up close and personal with wild animals,” says Khupe. “Understandable as this is, studies have shown that it is not good for animal welfare.

Recent campaigns have highlighted the global problem of cub petting and unscrupulous operators both locally and abroad. Simply put, it is not necessary to touch an animal to connect with the importance of wildlife conservation. We’d also like to make it very clear that we are utterly opposed to the abhorrent canned hunting and lion bone trade.”

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Recently appointed Chief Operations Officer of the reserve, Mike Fynn, explains: “Breeding and rearing animals for the purpose of cub petting and interaction is not only undesirable from an animal welfare perspective, it’s also not a sustainable business model. From now on, we will focus on educating the public about wildlife and the importance of conservation. This is why, with immediate effect, we choose to put a stop to cub petting at the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve and sincerely hope that other facilities responsibly follow suit.”

Over the past few months, while under new stewardship, the reserve has initiated a three-year plan to upgrade all of its public facilities, habitats and wildlife enclosures, which will be remodeled around the welfare and well being of its animals. Many of them are species that are endangered thanks to human activity and habitat loss.

According to Fynn the reserve team will dedicate themselves to a new internal mantra of being a ‘nurture reserve’.

In addition, he says they will commit to the following:

  • We will strive to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse and contented animal collection, and we will work with local and international institutions and bodies ensuring that we play our part in managing the long-term survival of endangered and threatened species.
  • We pledge not to sell or exchange any of our animal family, especially our lions, unless it’s to a reputable accredited facility and/or licensed wildlife institution.
  • We will breed animals only if this serves a conservation purpose.

“To those of our visitors who are disappointed that they can no longer cuddle a lion cub at our reserve: this is the right thing to do,” says Khupe. “As animal lovers, we understand how charismatic African wildlife is. But the truth is that our love for our animals may inadvertently harm them, even though we don’t mean to.”

She adds that she’s excited about this new journey: “We take the opportunity to re-welcome the greater public, wildlife stakeholders, tour operators and travel agents to actively support our reserve as it evolves into a BIG, must-see destination, that provides an authentic and informative wild animal experience for generations to come. Our wildlife family now has a voice again.”

https://www.rhinolion.co.za/

We’ve been to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve on a few occasions AND we whole heartedly agree that cub petting IS.NOT.NECESSARY!

My boys, currently 9 years and 2 years, don’t understand why we won’t let them pet the cubs like the other grownups and kids do. BUT I hope that someday they will understand their parents’ MO behind saying NO to cub petting and interaction.

How do YOU feel about cub petting and interaction?

Spirited Mama

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