THE BILI APE

In the northern parts of the democratic Republic of Congo is the Bili forest, a secluded eco-system that is very rarely explored and is home to a variety of species of animals. But with all the life that calls the Bili forest home there is one very special and elusive animals that we want to put our attention on, The Bili ape also called the Bondo ape after the nearby town of “Bondo ”but for simplicity we are just going refer to them as Bili apes throughout the article. 

 

            Bili apes are a large subspecies of the common Chimp with their closest relative being the eastern chimpanzee. These Bili Apes can grow up to a tall 6ft and can weigh an estimated 400lbs. To put that into perspective a Common Chimp is around 3ft and 100lbs but can easily man handle even the strongest humans. Bili apes at first were thought to be a gorilla-chimp hybrid. This belief came about when a Gorilla shaped skull was found in an area where gorillas are not found, further investigation would lead to finding ground nests but with no other signs of gorilla and with everything screaming chimp. Curiosity struck and the search for this possibly new elusive great ape was on!   Native tribes of the Bondo region would tell stories of large apes that would hunt lions, howl at the moon, fish the rivers and even be resistant to poison darts. Scientist would later discover that these “wives tales” had some truths to them. 

 

            Locating Bili apes is no easy task, the thick forest makes it hard for modern humans to maneuver in and until 2003 civil war made it very dangerous for researchers to enter the area. After researchers were able to enter the Bili forest safely, they did so. The first team to enter the northern forest of the Congo was in 2003. On this team was primate behaviorist Shelly Williams. During the exploration they came in contact with a group of the elusive Bili ape. Williams describes the encounter as such, “We could hear them in the trees, about 10 m away, and four suddenly came rushing through the brush towards me. If this had been a mock charge they would have been screaming to intimidate us. These guys were quiet, and they were huge. They were coming in for the kill – but as soon as they saw my face they stopped and disappeared.” After this encounter it was clear that these apes were not gorillas but in fact they were a group of unexamined species of chimpanzee. Just one year after the new apes were confirmed a scientist named Cleve hicks took the trek into the thickets to see what he could come up with on the elusive Bili apes. Hicks spent a very dedicated 18 months living near and studying the apes. During his time with the apes he learned that the stories the locals would tell where not that far-fetched. Although he never witnessed them howling at the moon, he did come across a group of male Bilis eating a leopard. Unsure if the Leopard was actually killed initially by the apes they were for sure feeding on its carcass. Hick was approached by a man who was saying he may have found another group of Bilis who have a different culture and would allow the researches to finally observe at closer distances as for the apes they were currently studying were very sceptical of humans. When Hicks and his team moved to locate this new band of apes they were not disappointed. These apes were curious at the sight of humans and would even approach them in an untraditional friendly manor. This new group of Bili’s confirmed that these apes where something special. They would hunt, make tools, fish, and make ground nests. And in the Bili region the natives say there are only two types of apes. “tree beaters and lion eaters”. Even when encountering these more observable apes the researches kept their distance and didn’t let the apes get accustom to being around humans in fear that the apes would think all humans are safe and that is not always the case. 

 

 

            Just like all wild animals Bili apes  face serious risk today, with poachers and animal trading coming into the area these apes and many of the native species face a great threat. In 2007 Cleve Hicks returned to the area and stumbled across heart ache walking through the forest and the village streets he found, 34 chimpanzee bodies, and 31 orphaned chimps that have been placed for sale on the black market. With little known about these apes having them already face what could be an early extinction due to human ego is very sad to think about but is there hope for this elusive ape of the Congo? Besides locals protecting the area from poachers and animals traders which is a very dangerous task there is a foundation working on protecting the whole Bili forest you can find more info on them here (HELP THE BILI FOREST

 

            

 Stay wild and stay curious 




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Bili apes eating

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A Male bili ape



THE BOW RIVER

            The Bow river is one of the major river systems in Alberta. It flows through many cities in the southern part of the Canadian province including Banff, Canmore, Cochrane and Calgary. Starting at bow lake which is fed from the run off of bow glacier this river runs a short but busy 654 km before meeting up with the old man river and creating the South Saskatchewan river. The water that fills the bow river is made up of 80% snow pack and 20% rain fall.

 

             Along the 654 km of the bow and its tributaries there are 11 hydro dams supplying electricity, drinking water and everyday living water to all the cities, towns and villages. Also supplying large amounts of water to livestock farms much of the water that runs through the bow is being used to sustain not only humans but a large variety of wild life. Some of the wild you can find through out the bow valley are Bears, Cougars, wolves, many types of north American ungulates and small mammals. The waters are filled with a wide variety of trout, mountain white fish, and northern pike. The bow river has also been argued for years on the claim of being the best trout fishing location in the world. With these bold claims and with the river supporting so much life, The big question is how is the overall health of the bow river? 

 

 

            With such a large chunk of the bow river being supplied from snow pack, water levels can change considerably from year to year causing shortages or flooding and if you ask anybody from Calgary they will tell you that the days weather is not guaranteed so predicting yearly weather patterns is damn near impossible and with so many dams in the rivers pathway you can find the cities and towns using what they must to sustain a high quality of life, But Calgary being the highest populated city in Alberta is working hard to return everything they use with the same quality as it was when the water came in. If you where to hike the steep valleys or fish the cold waters of the bow you would not be disappointed at all. The shores are well maintained right from start to finish even through the busy streets of Calgary the bow is still very clean and pleasant to look at. Fishing the bow is even more of an experience with absolutely beautiful big and healthy trout being pulled out on the regular. You can’t but help and agree when someone says “this is the best trout fishing in the world”

 

            Even with the river being well maintained and the wildlife being healthy and having good population levels, could the bow river be better, and can we do better to help keep it as wild and full as possible? The short and easy answer is “hell yeah”.  Since 2000 the bow has seen some declining changes, these changes come from a variety of issues with the major one being flooding. Two large flash floods that occurred in 2005, and 2013 were caused by major changes in weather patterns in a short period of time, with many tributaries flooding and with mother nature being the over ruler, the 11 dams that lay along the bow river and its tributaries were unable to prevent city streets from filling with the cold river water. We don’t have to explain what happens when cities flood, but you can imagine all the garbage, plant life, fish and wildlife that where pushed down stream or flushed right out of the river. These floods change the river and everything in it. Whirling disease was also confirmed in the bow during 2016 although it is to early to see how it will affect the bow or to notice any lasting effect, Calgary’s based Trout unlimited wants anglers and boaters to do their part by making sure that all gear is wiped down and dried before going into new waters and to report any signs of whirling to your local fish and wildlife. You can find the symptoms here (WHIRLING SIGNS

 

Fishing the bow river is an amazing experience with a wide variety of species all along the 654km it makes a fantastic fishery for any type of angler. Although fly fishing is the most popular way to hit the river spin casting works just fine. If you are thinking of hitting the river with your fly or spin rod, try some of these lures and techniques. 

    

       Lures for the Bow

       

             (FLIES)

·      Wire worm 

·      Copper john 

·      Tung stud bead head  

·      Wooly buggers 

·      Crouser (nice day) 

·      Medusa (cloudy day) 

 

(SPIN)

·      Spinners 

·      Spoons 

·      Crank bait

·      Wobblers 

 

 

Techniques for the bow 

 

·      Hopper dropper 

·      Nymph with indicator 

·      Streamers

·      Classic throw and reel

 

 

When looking for spots to fish on the bow, look for pools or slow-moving water. Work your lure near the bottom as the trout will feed there. If you find some nice pools or a bend with some slow-moving water fish those spots with confidence. If you are fishing with a indicator or hopper dropper cast up stream and let your line float downstream keeping an eye on the hopper or indicator looking for any subtle movement. Remember if you are not occasionally hitting bottom then you are not going to catch fish. When you find yourself a nice spot on the river look for current seams as those are indicators that there is a structure, and fish love hanging around structure. Be sure to not disrupt the water when you are fishing as you do not want to scare the fish away. Olive and Black are trusted colours when hitting the bow so when shopping for lures keep that in mind. If you are going to Huck bugs lift up a rock and see if you can match the hatch, but all the lures and techniques listed are sure fire ways to hook into a bow river beauty. 

 

      Some locations that you can try if you have no idea where to go are Mckinnon flats just south east of Calgary, Fish creek provincial park located right in Calgary, or the sue Higgins dog park also in Calgary. There is also lots of great locations in Banff national park, Canmore, and Cochrane. The bow river flows through many wildlife zones so when fishing please check for licensing and regulations of the spot that you decide to get your rod wet in. 

 

 

      Just like many major rivers the bow is fantastic for supporting life and amazing for recreational use. With lots of hiking, fishing and paddling options this river is labeled the most active river in Alberta. But just like uncle ben said “with great power comes great responsibility” so it is up to the ones who use the rivers water to live, fish, and enjoy to keep the waters clean and to use only what energy you need. We must take care of our rivers now so that our future generations can enjoy them the way we do.

 

 

STAY WILD 

UPROOTED: WHAT DEFORESTATION IS DOING TO OUR PLANET

What are the negative effects of deforestation on our environment 

Deforestation is rapidly clearing the forests on Earth on a massive scale. It is damaging the quality of land. Even after deforestation forests still cover at least 30% of the earth’s land, but forests half the size of England are cleared every year. Within a hundred years the rain forests in the earth will completely vanish because of the current rate of deforestation. It is not only affecting the land but also the environment. 

Loss of Habitat

The most unsettling and dangerous side effects of deforestation are the continuous loss of habitat. There are many species of plants and animals that lose their natural habitat every year only because of deforestation. 

• 70% of the animals and plants live in the forests 

• Most of the species cannot survive deforestation because they cannot get the optimal conditions for survival. 

• Trees in the rainforest not only provide a home to many species of animals but also a canopy that maintains the temperature required for the growth of different plants and animals. 

• The rapid removal of forests is the reason that there has been a drastic change in the temperature from day to night. 

Accumulation of greenhouse gases is increasing 

Carbon dioxide is known as the greenhouse gas that is the reason for global warming. Plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide for the production of food and energy. However, the rate at which we are removing the forests accumulation of these gases is increasing in the environment which is dangerous for sustainability. 

Instability in the level of water 

Trees help to maintain the level of water in our atmosphere. They help to maintain the water cycle by causing continuous rains. Due to deforestation, the number of trees is rapidly reducing which means that the level of water in the air is reduced that can be returned to the earth and soil. This is the biggest reason for dry soil and inability of the crops to grow properly. 

Flooding and soil erosion 

The most important function of trees is to retain topsoil and water. It helps to sustain the additional life in the forests as well as provide rich nutrients to animals. Without forests, the soil erosion will start due to which most of the soil will be washed away. After that only barren land will be left behind which is more susceptible to flooding. It means that most soil will be removed that will cause various other issues. 

Extinction of wildlife 

Various species of animals are lost every year because of massive falling down of trees. Animals are losing their natural habitat, and they are forced to move to new locations where they cannot get the temperature and environment they need to survive. This is the reason most of the animals are pushed toward extinction. 

It is important for us to stop deforestation and try to grow more trees and forests. The forests we have lost will take thousands of years to regrow, but we can still stop the speed at which deforestation is happening. In order to support this major cause Wild Side is donating 10% of their profit to help save forests. Be the change and help such organizations save the forests.  


WEIRD AND WILD: THE ANIMALS WE SHARE THE WORLD WITH

There are roughly 9 million species of animals that we share this world with. Some are cute and cuddly, and some are the things that make up nightmares. With 9 million species on this planet and with more being discovered daily there is no doubt that some of these animals that walk alongside us go unnoticed, But at Wild Side we embrace those freaky, funky, and awkward animals and want to share our love for them with you.  We are going to share some of the most unique animals that roam the earth today. Mother nature hardly ever repeats its self so the fact that we share the world with some of these species today is amazing and the fact that we can learn about them is even more outstanding. These are just a handful of the 9 million species that live amongst us, but a weird and wild hand full it is.

 

 AXOLOTL

            The Axolotl also referred to as the Mexican salamander or a Mexican walking fish, is an amphibian from Mexico. These wild little creatures are amazing in so many ways but the one attribute that sticks out most is their ability to regenerate. Most axolotl never reach full maturity. Leaving most of their cells in a juvenile state allowing them to regenerate parts of their bodies that were injured or removed. These smiley little healers have largely influenced the scientific community not only for their ability to grow new cells and body parts but also for their resistance to cancer. Axolotls are one the most cancer resistant animals known today. But regardless of all the amazing qualities that these amphibians have, and what they have inspired in the medical field, these damn things sure are weirdly cute.    

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GERENUK

            The Gerenuk looks like it would be the love child of a Giraffe and a Deer, but these long-necked animals are actually considered Gazelles. They live in the savannahs of Kenya where they have adapted well to their surroundings. Gerenuk’s where built for the droughts of Kenya with being able to go months without water and their long necks allowing them to reach the higher leaves on the local tree’s giving them a cutting edge on other plains animals. They may look a little odd but these things sure are tough.

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LAMPREY

            Lamprey are the things nightmares are made of. At Wild Side we believe in embracing all things wild but these hell sent creatures send something fierce down our spine. The Lamprey is said to be around 300 million years old, and with populations in the healthy numbers found all over the globe it doesn't look like they are going anywhere soon. Lamprey has also been deemed the silent invader due to their ability to move through rivers and into lakes killing the native species in a very violent blood sucking way. The great lakes that border U.S.A and Canada, had such a large problem with Lamprey killing off the fish that they had to create a Lamprey repellent that would kill the larva of the demon leech allowing the fish population to rebound.

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SAIGA ANTELOPE

Looking like an alien straight from a Star Wars film the Saiga Antelope is a very unique animal not just because of what they look like but because of how short and odd their lives are. These long-nosed animals come from Central Asia, mostly residing in Kazakhstan. Since the day they are born Saiga are put to the test, a newborn calf will go from female to female in search of its mother facing rejection from each one until the calf is able to find its mom or dies. If these animals pass the first test of finding their rightful mother they now must walk hundreds of miles each year in search of water with 50 % of the animals dying in the first 6 months, and for the lucky survivors, they can look forward to a short-lived life of only 4 years on average. If all this death was not depressing enough the Saiga Antelope had its population whipped out by 50% in 2015 due to an unknown epidemic. These animals for some reason have adapted to die very easy and very fast, but who knows maybe their bodies are feeding the soil for some future life…

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RED LIPPED BATFISH

        The Red-lipped batfish kind of looks like a cross between your grumpy neighbor and a freaking fish. This weird little creature uses its feet like fins to walk instead of swim they live off the shore of a Galapagos Islands in about 3-6 meters in depth. The Red Lipped Bat Fish is an aggressive hunter feeding on smaller prey, so they look and act the part. Definitely only a face a mother can love.

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GOBLIN SHARK

            Goblin Sharks are rare species of shark said to be about 125 million years old giving them the name "Living fossil". Even with the rarity of these animals, they are found in depths 100 meters below the surface in many parts of the world. With the Goblin shark having such deep living conditions and being so rare studying, them is some difficulty leaving us with a lot of unanswered questions, but what we do know certain is that jaw sure is wild.

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BARRELEYE FISH

            The Barreleye Fish is an alien looking fish with a transparent head, and the reason why they got their name is because of those large barrels like eyes. The eyes on this animal point straight up giving scientist the thought that it lives below its prey, and its transparent head is said to help it see its food. The Barreleye Fish is thought to eat jellyfish and other deep-dwelling creatures, a fluid around the Barreleye fish's head protects it from stings and attacks from other fish. This fish lives in depths around 600- 800 meters, and just like many of the weird and wild creatures that live in those depths, they become very hard to study and observe.

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WATER BEARS

        Water bears, or called Tardigrades, are microscopic animals about 1mm in size, but don't let their small size fool you these things are as tough as they come.  Water bears have been found on every corner of the earth and can survive practically every single condition. These little brick shit houses have survived the pressures of the deep ocean, boiling hot conditions of active volcanos, even survived the vacuum of space. There are about 900 known species of water bears and each one of them is amazing in their own way, some are cannibals and some can survive 10 times the x-ray radiation a human can. Yup these little bears can pretty much withstand every condition that is thrown at them and are thought to be from out of this world if you believe in evolution it is kind of exciting to see what the future holds for these things.  

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With these not even being a small percentage of the many amazing animals it is no shock that mother nature is full of surprises even with everything we know about the world our search to learn more continues. With every new species discovered it only raises a million more questions keeping our undying need to know more alive the world is truly wild and wonderful and the fact that we are all here right now is undoubtedly amazing.

 

STAY WILD AND STAY WEIRD.

 

HUNTING FOR FUN: SPORT KILLING ANIMALS

Hunting is such a vital part of the natural world. It allows the circle of life to keep its motion, it has provided the birth of new ecosystems and opportunities for different species, but when it comes to humans and hunting it is often a very controversial topic and is one that is filled with many different shades of grey. With hunting being such a controversial topic at Wild Side we want to talk about the more controversial topic of an already disputed subject “Sport killing.” Not when it comes to humans’ sport killing or trophy hunting, but rather animals sport killing. Yes, believe it or not animals do hunt not just for food or protection but for sport and pleasure as well, and often their tactics are wildly disturbing to say the least. So lets get right into this. Which animals sport kill and why?

 

 

There are many animals that kill for sport so lets just talk about a few of them.

 

Dolphins

            Dolphins have been studied for a long time and for good reason. They’re smart, interesting, cute, and absolutely fucking ruthless. These water mammals that we see as such gentle and empathetic animals are also great at killing, tormenting, and raping. In a 1990’s study scientist found dolphins killing porpoises for no other reason then just pure enjoyment. Since this discovery dolphins activities have been under close watch. Dolphins have been known to kill and rape other dolphins and aquatic mammals, kill baby dolphins freeing up the females mating, and to kill members of other pods and play with their bodies in front of the attacked pod. Oh yeah, they also get high as balls on puffer fish. Yup dolphins have defiantly earned their name “ass hole of the sea”

Ants

            Ants are very similar to humans in the way they conquer. Being one of the only other species that goes to war ants will actually enslave their victims putting them to work until death then feeding on their dead bodies, and don’t try and refuse work after capture because you will just get eaten right away. Some ant colonies stretch out for miles conquering any other colony in their path. One of the largest wars on planet earth is one between two ant super colonies, the “California Large” is a colony made up of invasive Argentine Ants and it covers over 560 miles of the U.S west coast and are at war with a nearby Mexican super colony.

 

Cats

            Yes your sweet Mr. Fluffy is a cold hearted killer. Cats are responsible for 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion bird deaths a year in America alone and 6.9 billion to 20 billion small mammal deaths. (these ranges are for feral and non-feral cats.) These cute little serial killers have caused serious problems in eco systems, putting such a large hit in these bird and mammal population they are looked at as a serious threat. We all know how cats kill and display their victim’s carcass and for those who don’t know just imagine a child who draws on the wall and is proud of their art, but instead of a child it’s a cat displaying a colourful mixture of blood and guts on your front porch. So damn cute…

 

Chimpanzees

            Ok chimps are freakishly intriguing. They are similar humans, they are smart and showcase similar habits our human toddlers do, but we are not here to talk about how cute and smart they are. We are here to talk about the things you don’t see on M.V.P movies. Chimps are hardcore, vicious tree swinging primates. These crazy chimps will kill, torture, and rape other chimps for no reason at all. They will kill and eat baby chimps right in front of the mother and then rape the mother. They truly are disturbing considering that they are also animals we share such similar qualities with and are looked at as child hood heroes. Ahh nature you cold hearted bitch.

 

Lions

            Just like our Mr Fluffy house cat, lions are very similar. They will sport kill plains animals in Africa and will also kill baby lions to free up the females for mating. Lions are very beautiful and amazing animals. The movies will often portray them as a symbolic hero, but these kings of beasts are purely instinctual and live in the present. Simba could have been eaten just so his old man could get his groove on more time, thank god for Scar..

 

 Wolves

            Although wolves sport killing is a disputed topic, with some saying no they do not and some saying hell yeah they do, it is often the go to when we talk about sport killing animals. Wolves will often kill more then they need to eat, and for how many wolves we see attacking large game it is actually a rare occurrence and most of these wild K9’S feed on plenty of smaller animals and carcass remains. Some wolf packs have been recorded killing members of opposing packs for no other purpose then just showing dominance. Whether you agree or not on when it comes to wolfs surplus hunting they are a very interesting animals with habits that differ from pack to pack.

 

 

Elephants

That’s right even these vegetarian giants are up to no good when it comes to killing of other animals. In Africa elephants have been reportedly killing and raping rhinos. Yup that’s right these elephants are killing and raping rhinos. Some scientist believe that these elephants are acting out like this due to a lack of male influences in the young bulls life. With no older elephants around to smack them and show them “the way” these elephants are getting a testosterone confidence boost.

 

 Coo Coo Bird

            These birds are very interesting in the way that they feel so entitled. Coo Coo Birds will fly around until finding another birds nest which then they will throw out the eggs that lay in the nest. Then the Coo Coo will lay their own eggs in the nest then expect the rightful owner of the nest to take care of their eggs… Weird right. Well it gets weirder if the bird who just had their eggs crushed refuse to take care of the Coo Coo Birds eggs then the Coo Coo will attack and destroy the birds nest. Yup these self-centred birds will kill your babies, give you theirs, and when you refuse to take of them they will destroy your home. Awesome.

 

 

            These animals are just a few of the many that sport kill and kill for reasons other than food and protection. A lot of these actions are pure instinctual and completely natural. When it comes to humans’ trophy hunting and sport killing, we have separated our selves from our neighbouring crazy killers, a lot of the trophy hunting we see today is for reasons that we can save for a different day. The world is an amazing place and mother nature is an absolute beauty although she is cold hearted and sometimes terrifying its amazing how much we can learn about who we are and relate the things going on in our modern evolving world to what goes on in the natural world. As much as we hate to admit it we are all products of nature and we must never forget that.

 

Stay wild and stay safe.

FOOD: HOW IT CREATED AND CHANGED OUR WORLD

      There is something so amazingly wild about food. It comes in all shapes, colours, smells, and tastes. Different ingredients change from place to place, and from dish to dish. It brings people together from all different backgrounds and cultures, but it also separates people and is used to control masses. Food is something that makes us all smile. "What's for dinner tonight?" is a question that has been asked for millions of years. But have you ever looked down at your plate full of delicious grub and think, "what is the story behind what I am eating?" Today we are going to talk about something ever so dear to all our hearts. You guessed it, food. Not just how flipping awesome it is, but how the things we eat every day and the dishes that make us want to learn more about different cultures got to the way they are today. How has food changed and shaped cultures and how is it changing today?

 

 A Brief History on The Importance of Food: Long ago when early hominids were moving across the savannahs, they set out in search of more food. Two million years later the search continues. When humans were hunter-gathers, getting a big animal to harvest or finding a large patch of wild fruit would bring the tribe together. Forming stronger bonds making them more united and stronger, giving them an upper hand on tribes that were not able to have such luck. Tribes that would get a large harvest would also share with neighboring tribes creating alliances, this, in turn, would create the trading of ideas. Letting them work together peacefully, which would eventually start the agriculture revolution.

 

       The agriculture revolution was the start of our known "foodie” craze. As soon as early humans were able to start farming and able to store their goods, some 12,000 years ago, our love for food grew from basic survival to full out culinary curiosity. Farming allowed humans to start having more children due to the fact they no longer had to move from location to location. It also provided an economy, allowing cities and villages to trade their farmed goods for other farmed goods. All this exchanging of goods and information brought different ideas on how different foods should be eaten. Which would eventually lead to a full-blown culinary exploration.

 

     Today many of the places we know of and visit were built on early trade routes. And what were these countries trading? Food. Mostly spices and dried meats. Many countries were found and developed while forming these trade routes. Humans obsession with food mixed with our undying need to explore has connected our world. Allowing us to share ideas and cultural practices and shaping the world we live in today. Christopher Columbus found "The New World" looking for a new route to trade goods such as spices and meats. The world as we know it today was created on hunger.

 

         After the agricultural revolution began, different religions started to form, and many beliefs that previously existed were forever shaped. These faiths built the foundations of their practices around how large or how little their harvest was. Human Sacrifices, Punishment, and disengagement from human activities like sex are some of the things that would be addressed when people thought the gods were mad and holding out on a full yield. This also created many different cultural differences. When the communities people would have conflicting opinions on why the fields were dry the community would divide leaving the people who did not put their faith into a god moving on trying to find new sources of food. This created early separation which gave humans the option of exploring new places and new resources. Different people have different ideas, which creates different communities. With everything that food has done good for us, it has also brought lots of exploitation and control.

The Dark Side Behind Our Favorite Dishes: Feijoada, Gumbo, Lobster, and caviar are some of the many dishes that where once considered poor people or slave food. These dishes were mostly created and consumed by slaves and people of the lower social class. Today these dishes are considered delicacies and are consumed by everyone everywhere and typically cost a pretty penny. When Christopher Columbus found the New World he landed in the Bahamas coming across cane sugar and many other food resources that not only tasted amazing but would also create massive economic growth. So, doing what conquerors do he found thousands of working bodies and enslaved them. Giving birth to the transatlantic slave trade in America. They would sell the new found resources that where being farmed and sell them back to England and Europe for a cheaper price. With the slave trade came many culture clashes creating a bunch of multi-cultrual traditions and dishes many of which today are still eaten as household favourite’s.

 

      Food has been used to control and manipulate people for centuries. One of the best ways to win a war is to cut off the food supply of who you oppose. We have seen this in our most recent world wars, the cold war, and wars happening today. People with positions of power will limit the amount of food they give to people to keep them on their knees and obedient. It is pretty terrible to think about how something that is so crucial and that can be so tasty, and fun can also be so evil, but when you see the power food has you truly start to understand the importance and effect it has had on our world.

Even before the agriculture revolution started our hunter and gather ancestors would travel across great distances in search of something more to fill their bellies. Along these travels our primitive ancestors would come across already settled bands of humans and would either join them abiding by their customs and ways of life or fight them for their resources. When thinking about our friend who gets “hangry” you could only imagine what it would be like for a band of early settlers after weeks or months of hunger and extensive travel when they came across another group of animals that looked the same as them but did everything else different. These early interactions with similar human bands caused complete genocide and shaped the further future to what we know today.

What Are We Seeing Today: Today's world and its relationship with food is one with lots of controversies, to say the least. With an expanding world and so much western American influence, we are seeing countries that once looked at food as a very intimate and amazing experience now looking at the thing that built so many of the places we live as something to fear. The western world has changed the food game immensely from making everything easier and more accessible. They have it all, from pre-packaged to pre-made, to having peaches with shelf life older than your grandma. There is no question that this is beneficial when it comes to storing our foods but with more people being curious and researching the effects of what this pre-packaged lifestyle has on us we are not seeing the results we had hoped for. With unhappy people who want only the best for their bodies, the age of diet options was born. The fact that we can choose what our diet is amazing considering that our diets used to be whatever was available. It sure has come along way thanks to food.  The western world also has a large diversity of cultures which brings a large option of foods to the plate and with all those different dishes and the liberty that America was built on we saw the rise of the restaurants allowing people from all different backgrounds to walk out their door and try something they have never had from a place they have never heard of. Ah, food connecting us all since the start of man.

 

STAY WILD AND STAY HUNGRY

POON LIM: A STORY OF SURVIVAL

                Being alone has its benefits, right? The peace and quiet. No one bothering you or asking you questions. Yeah being alone can be great it gives you time to really be with the person who matters the most…you! But what about being alone for 133 days. Not just alone but lost. Lost at sea, with no one around. Just you, the deep blue sea, and all the creature that live beneath the surface. How long could you be lost and alone before you became your own worst enemy? Or best friend? Well, there is a man named Poon Lim who lived this reality. Lost at sea for 133 days Lim’s story is an amazing one filled with fears, courage, and patients. This is a story of man vs himself vs nature and what he did to overcome many challenges and fears to stay alive. This is Poon Lim’s Story and his tales of survival.  

 

 

                Early life:  Poon Lim was born on March 8th, 1918 on an island south of China called Hainan. Unlike many children on his home island, Lim was very lucky to attend school in his early life, due to his loving brothers sending money from a factory job they where working. With a rising war against the Japanese knocking at their doorstep, Lim's father sent him away at age 16 to go live, and work on a British freight ship with his brother. With British sailors treating the Chinese like second class citizens, if lucky, Lim's living conditions where far from improved. With having his brother being by his side and reminding him “at least we don’t have to fight in the war” and although the living conditions where rough Lim found comfort in knowing that things could be worse. In 1937 Lim decided to leave the shipping industry and move to Hong Kong and enroll in mechanics school. But soon after Lim started getting settled down in Hong Kong, he was forced out again. With the Japanese army about to capture Hong Kong anytime, Lim decided to take a job with his cousin on yet another British freight ship. But with many of the British men gone to fight against the Germans in WW2, and the shipping companies need for workers, living and working conditions were greatly improved. So, to avoid war Lim went back to work on the ships.

 

 

                Life right before being lost at sea: Poon Lim was working onboard the SS Benlomond in 1942. The Benlomond was set to leave Cape town and arrive in New York making stops through South America along the way. On November 23rd, 1942 completing a whole 2/3rds of the voyage the SS Benlomond was gunned down by a German Nazi U boat. With all but Poon Lim falling to the depths 56 men died. 22 Chinese and 24 British. Lim told his story of jumping off the boat before the boilers exploded, grabbing life jackets to make a small raft. A few hours after the ship went down Lim was bobbing in the water and was lucky enough to come across an 8 foot by 8-foot emergency raft that was deployed during the attack. To his surprise, the raft was fully loaded with supplies. Like fresh water, biscuits, jerky, flares, flashlight, and some chocolate. As he floated off away from the wreckage the German U boat emerged from the water blowing right by him. With the thought of “why did they just leave me here instead of finishing me?” Lim soon realized that the Germans did not finish him… because the sea would.

 

 

            Life lost at sea: All alone on a small wooden raft Lim started to try and comprehend what to do now. He thought surely someone will come looking for the ship and the crew when it does not arrive at the docks. So with optimism and some hope Lim started to ration out his food. During his drift waiting for help Lim got hit with a nasty storm, throwing much of his remaining supplies off the raft and sailing him in unknown direction. After the storm had settled and Lim was recouped he came to the realization that he was lost at sea. During his 133 days Lim came into many situations and did many things that only a person pushed to survive would do. He made fake bird nest, drinking the blood and drying out the meat of seagulls that fell for his trap. Lim used the tin of the biscuit box that remained on his raft to make sharp hooks attaching them to the rope on the flashlight to makeshift his own fishing pole. He had sharks following him due to the blood of his catches. But Lim did not fear the sharks and instead grabbed a nail out of his raft and used it to hunt them. Supplying him with large amounts of fresh food to eat and hydrating blood to drink. Lim was afraid of the water so he tied a rope around his waist to keep him from falling in. But after a while, he became inspired by the water and decided to swim twice a day to keep his body and mind in tip-top shape. During his time on the waters, Lim came close to rescue three times but thought nobody picked him up due to him being Chinese. An American warplane flew over Lim at one point flying close to the water Lim waved his arms but soon after the plane passed by a storm picked up and took him further away from any chance of rescue. With everything going to hell and seemingly getting worse Lim still stayed strong and kept hunting and swimming.

 

 

                Being Rescued and Life after: Poon Lim was found floating 10 miles off Brazils coast on April 5th, 1943. The fishing family that found him brought him to a small town called Belem near the mouth of the Amazon river. When he landed on solid ground Lim was able to walk by himself and had only lost 20lbs during his castaway. After spending four weeks in a Brazilian hospital Lim was told that no one has ever been lost at sea alone for as long as he has. He replied, “I hope no one will ever have to break that record". He was sent back to Britain where he received the British Empire medal given to him by King George IV. The royal navy also included his tales of survival into their manual. Lim soon decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life in the United States where he eventually died in 1991 at the rightful age of 72. 

 

                Poon Lim’s story is an amazing one. It shows just how the power of perseverance and optimism can save your life, even in the worst of conditions. Lim was faced with conflict right from birth, always around war and discrimination. After being shot down, stuck in storms, and being ignored for rescue, Poon Lim worked with what he was given and adapted to his surrounding. The waters he once feared he conquered and thrived. Lim’s story of survival one that is truly wild.

 

BE LIKE POON AND BE WILD.

STONED APES: A LITTLE FOOD FOR THOUGHT

 

 

                                How did humans ever become so good at thinking? During evolution how did we become such free and functional thinkers? Was it our ability to cook meat over fire supplying our brains with essential fats? How about the fact early homo sapiens we were capable of living in various climates giving us the chance to socialize and expand? What ever you think the reason is. Our fascination for the way our brain functions and the way we think is overwhelming to say the least. But what would you say if someone was to tell you that Magic Mushrooms was one of the reasons for us becoming so successful in our cognitive ways? Well some scientist out there are entertaining the idea and are intrigued by the thought of stoned apes.

 

                The Idea behind the stoned ape hypothesis is that early hominids came down from the trees around 6 million years ago, and with climate change they where able to move across the savannas giving them access to a variety of never seen flora and fauna. Amongst these never before seen creatures were animals like hippos, elephants, and rhinos. With these animals came their scat and, in their scat grew…. you guessed it…. magic mushrooms. These early primates are thought of to have eaten these magic mushrooms causing a leap in consciousness. Helping take them from canopy dwelling apes to the colonizing homo sapiens that we have all come to know.  Although this is just an idea and not actually theorized it makes it incredibly difficult to gather any type of serious hype from the scientific community, besides the odd few that came up with the hypothesis.

 

                With absolutely zero evidence that any apes where walking around stoned as balls some 6 million years ago, very little is ever put into the research of our ancient relatives eating these magic mushrooms. But what do we know now that can help us keep this entertaining thought going? Well we know that there are about 23 different primate species today (humans included) that eat mushrooms. Telling us that mushrooms have been consumed for many years and consumption is common amongst similar species. We know that magic mushrooms have a psychoactive ingredient called psilocybin which is shown to improve cognitive function, causing new neurons to form, and making new neuropaths in the brain. That along with heightened senses you now have a subject that can intake more knowledge. Many tests have been done on what happens to people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and PTSD after experiencing the effects of psilocybin, and the results were that majority of subjects where able to face their problems directly. Telling us that psilocybin is great at letting us self reflect and face fears. Which are ideal qualities of a dominate species.

 

                With the evidence on what psilocybin can do for the human brain along with the theory of early hominids migrating across savannas, where copious amounts of Psilocbe cubensis (The magic mushrooms that grow in scat) grow, the stoned ape hypothesis is born. But even with all the doubt it is still quite interesting and honestly taking any possibility off the playing field could be a big mistake in trying to figure out more about who we are as humans. Mother nature has a very odd way of making things work and the one thing we do know is that we know fuck all. Even though we are not able to prove this hypothesis, just give the idea a thought and think about the possibilities. Thinking outside the box could be what allow us as humans to take the next leap in consciousness.

 

 

Stay Wild and Stay Curious

HOW TO AVOID GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED BY A MOOSE

Moose are found all over the northern ranges of North America. From the shores of Nova Scotia, through the plains of Saskatchewan, right to the secluded mountain ranges of Alaska.  With all the hype and fear being about bears and wolves (With good reason) the moose is often over looked as a threat. And with having such a diverse living area, and out populating most of your typical “aggressive wild animals” by 5X in some areas it is important to talk about ways to avoid getting attacked, how to look for some aggressive moose signs, and what to do when the moose starts laying the hooves to you. Because if you do anything out in the bush or live in a city/town with a moose population in the surrounding area you are going to run into one of these Frankenstein wildlings sooner or later. 

 

First let’s start with how dangerous moose actually are.  Moose have been deemed the gold medal champions in human ass whooping’s with more attacks on humans than bears and wolves combined annually, these animals sure don’t take much crap. Moose attack more people in North America than any other wild animal (let’s not forget that crocodiles, bears, wolves, cougars, and many other “aggressive” animals live amongst us here in the Americas) and are said to be second next to the hippo world wide for attacks on humans. With only 3 reported deaths caused by a moose stomping these animals are more likely to leave you with a few broken bones a black eye, fat lip, and the feeling of what the hell just happened. But don’t underestimate these heavy weight brutes, many fish and wildlife reports and animal protection books have named the moose the most dangerous animal in the woods. You might be thinking well if I am not in the woods I should be okay right? Sorry to rain on your parade, but the most dangerous place to run into these animals is in your car on the high way.  Transport Canada has reported between 1999-2003 there where 9,740 moose related vehicle collisions, 105 of them being fatal. With bears on average killing 3 people a year due to attacks, the moose might not finish you on the trail but he might just get you on your drive home.

 

 So what do you do if you run into a moose on the trail? Well first things first keep your distance just like any other wild animal, they are unpredictable, and you can’t ask them nicely how there day is going. If you do come face to face with a moose it is always nice to have some tricks in your artillery. “Know some of the signs of an irritated/aggressive moose.”

·         If the moose is eating and stops and looks at you (they don’t like changing their                          behaviour)

·         When the lay back their ears or raise the hair on there hump, neck, or hips

·         If they smack their lips or chat their teeth

·         Lowers its head and starts walking your direction

·         Urinates

·         Opens its eyes wide enough to see the whites

·         Whips its head back like a horse

If you see a moose showing any of these signs its probably best you high tail it out there. These animals can run up to 30mph, now that’s a lot faster than you. So if you do find your self getting chased down, you got to get out of there and try a find a tree or some sort of barricade to put between you and the moose (They are very large so moving around big trees is hard). But if you cannot move fast enough and you find your self getting hoofed by a 1200 lb moose, just get into the tightest fetal position you can and try not to make noises or move. Once the moose feels like you are no longer a threat it will most likely move on.

 

Why do moose attack? Moose attack mainly out of protection. Weather it is a cow protecting her calves or a big bull moose defending his territory, the main reason is because you got to close to them and they must stop what ever their doing to eliminate the problem (you) and like stated before moose do not like changing their behaviour. With that being said, there has also been a lot of reported random moose attacks mostly coming out of the Alaskan city Anchorage (they have a very high moose population). Another reason they attack is when people feed them. Moose eat lots of food and when you tease them with a couple of handfuls of willow bush then walk away they get pissed off. So its better to just not feed them at all. But just like anything out there in mother nature it is very unpredictable so its just better to choose your battles wisely and don’t start a fight you can’t finish.

 

STAY WILD AND STAY SAFE

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://beprepared.com/blog/15573/7-signs-youre-going-to-be-attacked-by-a-moose/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose_attack

https://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/dangerous-moose1.htm

Alaska Department of Fish and Game http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=livewith.aggressivemoose

Glacier National Park Travel Guide http://www.glacier-national-park-travel-guide.com/moose-attack.html

Appalachian Mountain Club http://www.outdoors.org/publications/outdoors/2010/learnhow/responding-to-moose-encounters.cfm

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/moose.html

Moose Safety University of Alaska at Anchorage http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/upd/prevention/moosesafety.cfm

SEX: HOW HAS IT CHANGED?

                SEX! We all know what it is and how to do it. With time moving forward and things always changing how has this very vital and important part of life changed for us humans, if it has at all? This weeks Wildsider is all about sex and how something that comes so natural to every living thing on this planet can also be one the biggest insecurities and dilemmas for us people. How was sex changed and what are the variables on which it changes?

 

 CULTURE: Culture plays one of the largest roles in the way sex is viewed and how it changes. When sex is thought about as a collective, we must understand that the way sex is viewed varies from culture to culture. Different people from different parts of the world have different views, and the way that sex is viewed is no exception. Culture shapes sex and how we feel about it over the many years it has changed. Its like a roller coaster, with culture being the tracks and sex being the cart and we are the people strapped in all horned up ready for the ride. All over the world people are taught differently on how to feel about sex and even though the principle is the same no matter where you are the views and actions may vary. For example, In Europe people learn about sex early in life and are exposed to many aspects of sex and in a result,  it is normal for a person to have over 100 sexual partners. Compare that to the Chinese, who on average have around 7. And in the Americas numbers vary on a large spectrum due to the major multi cultural society. Our culture and society that we are brought up in play a direct role in how we feel about sex. It is shaped by the movies we watch and the music we listen to, by the stories you read and the people you see. So far on this roller coaster ride we have seen times where sex was very open and was looked at for the natural action it is. We also have seen times where sex is hidden, and our natural urges are looked at as sinful. With a western culture expanding and our ability to connect so well we are seeing contradicting opinions and thoughts putting this roller coaster in what feels like a forever loopdy loop. Culture is huge when it comes to how sex has changed, or how it is viewed, but what is often lost during our obsessions with what is hot or not is the fact that our urges are all natural and what we feel and are attracted to is a mixed product of our biology and social conditions. But we far to often let our brain and peers tell us what we are supposed to find sexy.

 

 

PORN:  The world and everything in it was created in 7 days. The internet, and all the porn on it, was created on the 8th day. Humans have always been fascinated with depicting other naked humans. With carvings of big breasted, thick thighed women dating back to 30,000 years ago. Anthropologist say that it is more of a symbol showing fertility rather then being pornography, but it is one of our earliest images of humans showing other naked humans. The ancient Greeks would do full sculptures and paintings showing homosexual threesomes. The Kama Sutra was also an early human depiction of pornography being shared as a manual for relationships and different sex positions. This seductive book that has been rewritten many times and is still as popular as it was back in the 2nd century.  But that was then, and this is now. Today porn is on a whole other level than it was even just 50 years ago. With it being so popular and being so easy to access not only is it changing the way we view sex but how we feel about it too.  Pornography is said to be one of the biggest threats to humans and their personal sex life, with false expectations and immediate urges being met with no self reflecting on trying to truly understand your feelings, it makes sense why many relationship and sex experts say that a healthy mind is a porn free mind.

 

 

MEDICATION: Pills like Viagra and Cialis are helping men with E.D keep their bed game strong late in their years. Birth control and other forms of contraceptives are also playing large roles in how sex has changed. Before any kind of pregnancy prevention, it was usually the men who where able to engage heavily into their sexual desires. But now that we have such a large variety of pills and plan A’s and Plan B’s the ball game has changed largely and women are up to bat. It is a great thing that these pills are out there to help the people who want or need them, but it could be that since so many people are having care free sex that they take this important part of life for granted. It no longer becomes the self discovering- reproducing action it was once praised for, but instead it becomes an immediate satisfaction for urges that most people often don’t understand.

 

So has sex changed? YEEEESSSS. Sex has changed over the years, and with our world always having new fads and culture transformations it is undoubtably going to keep changing. Questions now that can be asked is if these urges that cause attraction and make us seek out to be sexy are for pure pleasure or procreation. What ever it is, one thing we can agree on and that must be understood is that sex is a very important and natural part of the natural world. Sex is taboo with many opinions and outlooks far to often over complicating it, which makes it a touchy subject for most. But at Wildside we like to think that since sex is as natural as anything else that comes to us humans the best way to look at it is keep it natural baby! Don’t fight those feelings, understand them. STAY WILD AND STAY SEXY.

FERAL PEOPLE: FROM MYTH TO DISTURBING REALITY

                Ever since humans started recording their history and painting pictures on cave walls we have always had a romantic obsession with the natural world and everything in it, and with good reason. It is who we are. With movies showcasing wild nature boys like Tarzan and Mowgli who not only lived amongst animals but lead them, and with campfire stories filled with myth and disbelief about people who transform into wolves or giant birds. It makes you wonder if there is any truth behind these amazing and captivating stories.  Our connection with the natural world is undoubtably strong, but what happens when we are forced to go back to our primitive routes? What happens when humans are forced to leave their cultivated lifestyle and live a life alone amongst mother nature herself. This Wildsider is all about feral children and how the stories we grew up with had truth and experience behind them.

 

                So, what is a feral child or feral person? Being feral is to be wild and undomesticated. To be feral one must be born into wildness where the only rules are that of the natural world. Or they must be first domesticated and then become feral due to certain circumstances. Feral People, majority of them being children, are said to have been abandoned by parents or relatives and raised by animals. When we think of feral people we often think of a young child running along side wolves and eating the raw meat with their pack, or an ape man swinging from tree to tree picking fleas from the backs of his chimpanzee family. What ever it is that crosses your mind when you imagine the wildness of a feral person you are probably not far off from the real thing. Feral children do exist, and their stories are ones of unusual circumstances and often depressing. Nonetheless they are real and just like all of us they all have their own story.  

 

                Let’s get into this. Who are some of these feral people and what are some of their stories? With so many cases out there, I found a few that really stuck out to me. Keep in mind that what happened with these people happened when they where very young. Therefore, they become a product of their raising. They became a product of the wild.

 

                Peter the wild boy: Peter was a young boy who was discovered in 1725 in northern Germany. He was found living in the forest amongst the wild. He walked on all fours and he barked and cleaned himself just like a dog. He was thought to have been abandoned by his parents at a very early age, forcing him to seek shelter and refuge in the woods. After his finding, Kings and Dukes from all over Europe traded him and kept him as a pet of sorts. He went through many castles, and many rehabilitation attempts, but no one was able to teach him to speak, walk, and eat properly. He was given to a farmer and left to live out the rest of his life, among the stable animals.

 

                Oxana Malaya: Oxana is a more recent case, but is defiantly an interesting one. Oxana was abandoned by here abusive and alcoholic mother. Being neglected for 7 years Oxana was found in 1991 living in horrible conditions. She was left alone, outside in the harsh conditions of a Ukraine barn. Her only access to warmth, food, or water was through a pack of wild dogs. Oxana learned everything from these dogs. How to eat, drink, walk, and “talk”. When she was found her hands and feet had adapted to walk on rough surfaces. She could drink dirty water and digest raw meat straight from carcasses. When she was discovered the wild dogs protected her like they would one of their own. Through a difficult rehabilitation process, she is now living a semi normal life in a village located in the Ukraine taking care of the wild dogs.

 

                Ng Chhadiy: Ng is a very interesting case of feral people. She is one of the only ones who went from being feral as a child, right into late adulthood. Found in the jungle of Myanmar, Ng was thought to be in her late 30’s when she was discovered and is said to have gone missing into the jungle when she was only 4 years old. That’s right, over 30 years in the jungle by herself. She lived off fruit and insects and would watch other animals hunt and scavenge for food, taking what they did not finish. She was able to climb trees and move through the jungle with ease. Hunters and villagers throughout the jungle had commonly reportedly that the woods were haunted with spirits. But it was just Ng stalking them and attacking them at night with lighting fast attacks. If you don’t think this can get anymore wild think again. When Ng was discovered she was brought back to a village by an anthropologist and rehabilitator. In this village a man said that he knew who she was, and that she was his daughter. He told the doctors about a birth mark that was proven to be there, and after a DNA test it was confirmed that this man was her father. She lives with her father in this village but is still unable to speak or live completely properly amongst others.

 

          These are just a few of the many cases of feral children that are out there. Each one just as curious and bizarre as the next. It’s hard to know for sure what happened to these people during their life in the wild since none of them can speak properly or understand the process of what they went through. A lot of these feral cases have controversy behind them because it is said that many of these children had mental illness before they were feral and that their illness was neglected or misdiagnosed by the parents or doctors. They could have found a child with autism who instead of being offered help, found a pack of wild animals. But with a lack of proper nutrients and social skills during the developmental stages many of these feral people are found with the symptoms of what we would classify as mental illness.

 

 Now a day’s, scientist are interested in these feral children and who they are because of how incredibly fast they adapted to their surroundings. Which raises interest in if they could be classified as a sub species. They have enough evidence to stay interested, but not enough to understand it or classify it. Whether these people are victims of terrible neglect or are just runaways who found shelter amongst the wild, one thing remains the same, these feral people from a completely different species group than their adoptive “parents”, were taking in with a sense of empathy and protectiveness. Although mother nature can be a cold-hearted bitch, she really does have a remarkable way of showing beauty and compassion.

THE UNCONTACTED: SHOWING US WHAT WE ONCE WERE

       The world today is amazing isn’t it. We have grocery stores that give us the option to chose what and when we eat, we’ve got doctors that can help us when we are sick or want to modify our bodies, and we have homes that protect us from the elements and keep us safe from outside threats. Our lives on this planet can be so amazing that a large chunk of our population is more worried about a dead cell phone battery, or what shoes matches their outfit, rather than if they are going to eat or stay safe for the night. But with our lives being so convenient we often over look the process of how we got there. How did we go from being vulnerable to extreme weather, to being able to control the temperature in our homes? How did we go from hunting and gathering available fauna and flora, to having the option of choosing our diets? Everything that makes our life’s so amazing and accessible happened over many years of trial and error. With a nice dash of luck and a willingness to learn and adapt, our early ancestors had to discover and decide what make’s their life better. They built early civilization on the idea of working smarter not harder. With todays world being so connected with trading information and cultivating resources it is hard to believe that there are groups of people that live in isolated parts that still live like their very early ancestors, and I’m not talking about practicing a few of the cultural dances on special occasions, but full out live the way before farming or wearing clothes was even a thought. There are people out there that have very little knowledge and zero contact with the outside world. Those people are absolutely wild and intriguing but very difficult and dangerous to reach. These are the people that show us who we once where. These people are the uncontacted.

 

            Who are the uncontacted? The uncontacted is a general term that is used to describe native tribes from all over the world that have been untouched by modern civilization. There are roughly 100 uncontacted tribes left today in the known world. Each tribe with their own set of beliefs, practices, and way of living. Some are very peaceful, and some are very aggressive. Others practice cannibalism and self mutilation, and some embrace the sun and moon as gods. Tribes like the Sentinelese have been isolated for so long that they have yet to discover fire and they will go into full genital swinging war mode at any sign of the outside world. Tribes that were previously classified as “uncontacted” and have recently come out of isolation, to receive medical help or to adopt a more modern way of living, are our best chance of trying to understand and relate to the tribes that remain uncontacted. When we think of these tribes we must remember that these are people that don’t have an alphabet, a number system, or any kind of agriculture, these people live like we did before any kind of industrialization. These tribes use their surroundings and the natural world as a way to navigate. They sing songs and use animal like noises as a way to communicate, they use the resources at their feet to build the same life their parents built for them. Everything they know is what they see, to them we are the aliens from a different planet and their little chunk of land is the only thing that makes sense to them. These uncontacted tribes are found in many parts of the world, but many are expected to live along the Amazon River through South America, but some have been spotted on small islands between India and Myanmar. There have been speculations of uncontacted tribes in Siberia, but regardless of where on the globe they reside the question remains the same. When and how will these tribes make first contact?

  

            With these tribes being so isolated and having little to no knowledge of the outside world makes first contact very difficult and dangerous, not only for the professionals that want to observe them but also for the tribe. One of the greatest risks that is faced when making first contact is illness. With having no contact with the outside world these tribe people have not had the chance to come into contact with the bacteria and parasites that build a strong immune system, and just a common cold could wipe out the whole group stopping the anthropologist and researchers dead in their tracks. Another risk of making first contact is the potential of attack. With these tribes not knowing what our intentions are and having no way to communicate with them makes it incredibly dangerous. It also doesn’t help that when most scientists and research crews go out on their missions they bring large mysterious objects like cameras and brief cases full of notes, throwing the tribe people into a rambling defence. But the ugly truth is that these tribes fear us more then we fear them, and for good reason.

 

                With an only estimated 100 uncontacted tribes left in the world it makes you wonder what happened to all the other tribes? Well some tribes came out of isolation on their own terms in search of a more convenient life filled with medicine and tools. Some tribes met early explorers and decided that life in the sticks was better suited for them then what the “white man” had to offer. But most of the tribes that roamed freely and uncontacted from the outside world have a very different story. In the early 20th century rubber and logging corporations moved through the Amazon rainforest seeking the resources that lay within. During this process they encountered many tribes, if those tribes where not wiped out by illness or killed by the corporations hired guns, they where enslaved leaving an undoubtably bad view of the outsiders in the remaining tribes people eyes. The genocide of these tribes that came along with the deforestation was so large that roughly 90% of all native tribes in the Amazon where wiped out leaving us kicking ourselves in the ass because these people taught us and still do teach us so much about who we all once were. They can help us fill in missing gaps on how life was during different evolutionary periods.

 

                What is happening now with these ancient tribes, and what does the future look like for them? After the mass deforestation and killing of the natives in the 20th century the remaining tribes, uncontacted or contacted, are protected fully with government and private organizations like FUNAI. These organizations encourage the indigenous people to live the same way they have been living for so many years. They supply the tribes with tools and medicine to help better their life’s, which some anthropologist believe is contradicting in preserving their way of life but, the organizations and governments do an amazing job of protecting them from future attacks by military, drug cartels, and corporations. But with these native tribes being so well protected there is a bit of controversy coming from the residents of small villages and workers of the organizations. With 100 FUNAI workers being killed between 2006 and 2014 and many attacks on the villages the people want the laws to change so they can defend them selves from aggressive intruding tribes. [JK1] Monte Salvado a village along the Amazon River has been attacked several times from a local native tribe, and with laws against harming (even in protection) the natives, these villagers face incredible difficulty finding ethical ways to deal with the attacks, and just for clarity these attacks are full blown viscous attacks with many casualties on the villager’s side. The village leaders have been said to retaliate with destroying the tribes people’s weapons and tools. This in turn made the natives come out of the woods and seek help from the outside world. The future of the remaining uncontacted tribes is uncertain, but it is interesting to think about what will happen. With an ever-expanding world it is just a matter of time before these tribes get confronted with the outside, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Think about it, in the next 50 years there could be a member of a recently uncontacted tribe studying math and learning how to read. That would be huge for them as people and insanely beneficial to us as humans not only to communicate with people who just recently lived like our ancient ancestors but also because its another mind and voice in the world that has the potential to change everything.

 

Stay wild and stay curious.

 

BEAT THE HEAT: 5 AMAZING SWIMMING HOLES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA , CANADA

   With summer at the door step we often get the urge to want to explore but sometimes it is just to damn hot and you need to cool down, but where ? check out these 5 amazing swim holes to not only beat the heat but to explore some amazing terrain aswell. 

( this list is in no particular order)

 

#1 Cabin Lake

 A beautiful little gem off the north shore of Cypress . It is a popular spot when the sun is shining and for good reason. The water is heavenly and the scenery is serene.

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#2 Bromley Rock 

 Bromley rock is a beautiful section of the Similkameen river. The river is lined with sand banks and with the water being so refreshing it is the cherry on top for  beautiful sunny day. with people often floating down the river this place can get busy.

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#3 POOL 99

 With beautiful rock faces to jump off of and chilly water this is defiantly a hot spot for people trying to beat the heat.

 

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#4 Cascade falls  

  With many places to Swim, Cliff jumping, and lots of places for tanning. This place is a great way to spend a hot day with friends and family. 

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#5 Sooke Pot holes

This freshwater swim spot is an absolute must if you are on Vancouver island with beautiful surroundings and amazing natural waters this place well have you wanting summer to never end.

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SAY HELLO TO THE COYWOLF

THE COYWOLF:

                We often forget that the natural world is in constant motion outside of our concrete jungles we call cities, but one opportunistic species has adapted to not just survive but thrive in rural and urban environments. This highly adaptable canine has been walking alongside us watching us and learning from our behaviour for close to 100 years but what is it? What is the coywolf?

 

                A coywolf (pronounced “COI”-“WOLF”) or sometimes called an eastern coyote is a hybrid canine that has a mix of coyote and wolf in its D.N.A,  more specifically it is the result of a western coyote mating with an eastern wolf. What makes coywolves so interesting is the fact that they are a prime example of nature continuously adapting and taking advantage of what is available, but to really understand what these coywolves are we must first understand where they came from. When the early settlers came to what is now Ontario in Eastern Canada, they started to cut down trees for farming and homesteading. With the wolves old stomping grounds becoming farm land they now had new available food sources, so the eastern wolves being opportunistic started doing what they do best. HUNT. But the wolves were hunting the new arrivers live stock, and this obviously caused big problems with the settlers. These farmers did whatever it took to protect their livestock and started to hunt and trap the wolves putting a huge hit in their numbers. With the arrival of the early pioneers and the deforestation that it took to build their new homes came “dewolfisation” and with the wolf population decreasing there was room for a new contender to move in “The Western Coyote”. Several years go by and these wolves and coyotes are now living amongst each other and just like a lot of things in nature that live within the same territory you are either fucking or fighting. These wild canines decided that love is the answer, but what is so amazing about the whole situation is the off chance that these two different species where able to not only breed with each other but produce fertile offspring that would continue to repopulate with either wolves, coyotes, or other coywolves. There for creating a thriving population of all three wild canines. These animals coexist so well that there have been packs found made up of all species.  

               

                 Being officially discovered and recognized in Algonquin Park Canada around the year 1919 the coywolf has been a Biological awe ever since. The coywolves are found mostly in eastern Canada but have reportedly been seen in the western provinces as well (still unconfirmed). The coywolf population has also spread down into the northeast region of the United States with several of them living in or around major cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. With coywolves being so accustomed to humans and our behaviour, seeing one of these animals walking down a sidewalk on a main street in not unheard of. These coywolves will use the train tracks as a trail system to get from point “A” to point “B” using the cities as breeding and feeding grounds. They have adapted to the overwhelming presence of humans and use it their full advantage. With such a high presence in urban areas and their population rising there have been attacks on humans and domesticated animals, with some attacks ending fatally. And not to mention who knows what diseases the animal could be carrying, but just like all animals, especially wild ones, you must always keep your distance when confronted by one.

 

                So, what are scientist doing about these canines and their rising numbers? They themselves are trying to figure that out. Coywolves being part coyote have a cool adaptation that allows the females reproductive system to kick into overdrive when a member of the pack is missing. Causing them to mate more than they normally would. They do this by communicating with each other by howling and chirping, this is what is often happening when we hear coyotes late at night or early morning. So, for that reason they are an incredibly hard species to control and conserve. But Scientists are tracking their behaviour and keeping a very close eye on them, so we don’t have a plague on our hands. But who knows that might be what’s next for this planet. DUH DUH DUHHHHH!

 

Stay wild and Stay curious.

 

Sources:

https://www.livescience.com/39184-what-is-a-coywolf.html

http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/meet-the-coywolf

 

THE ISLAND OF APES.

This is a short documentary made by a team called Motherboard. The Motherboard team went into remote parts of Liberia of west Africa to explore to learn about a place called "Monkey Island"  a place where former lab tested Chimpanzees live out the remainder of their lives. The team does an amazing job sharing the stories of the locals, the chimps, and the former lab director. Have a watch and share what you think. 

THE SHERPA PEOPLE: TAKING LIFE TO NEW HEIGHTS

THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE SHADOWS OF THE MOUNTAINS:

 

                Think about your day job for a second. What does it entail? Do you sit at a desk all day watching the clock tic down? Do you deal with crazy customers who left their morals and basic human respect at the door? Do you chase bad guys or rush to the scene of an accident? Or run into a building engulfed with flames to save innocent lives? What ever your job may be, just think about why you do it. We spend most of our time devoting ourselves to these jobs so that our families can have security and comfort. We go through the constant daily grind just so that we can give our loved ones something that we may have never had. What ever job it is that comes across you head when asked to think about what you do for a living, you can find comfort in knowing that your neighbors, friends, and family are all doing what they do too because of the common goal to live a better life. But how far would you go to give your family everything they need and want? Would you put your life on the line everyday? Would you spend months away from them fighting extreme elements to help people get “the photo of a life time”?  Would you risk your life constantly for a wealthy person who just wants to reap the benefits of being able to say “yup I did that.” Well there is a group of people that live in the high mountain ranges of the Himalaya's and most of them do exactly that. These people are called Sherpa's, and just like you and the people around you, they would do anything for their families and they are constantly proving that.

 

                People often think of Sherpa's as people who just carry material and equipment up the steep mountain slopes, but that’s not the case. Guiding mountain expeditions and pampering their Western clients is just one of the jobs that many of the Sherpa people take on to provide for their family. With the Himalaya's being home to some of the worlds tallest mountains and challenging yet unique peaks it is a mountaineer’s paradise, and with tourism comes business. But aside from having one of the most dangerous and difficult job markets in the world, who are the Sherpa people?

 

 The word Sherpa actually means people who live east. “SHER” meaning east and “PA” meaning people. The Sherpa's where Tibetan Buddhist that moved from the Kham region of Tibet across valleys and hill ranges to the high altitudes of the Himalayan mountains over 500 years ago. All of that be closer to the mountain they held most sacred, Mount Everest. At the high altitudes and difficult living conditions of 2500 – 4300 Meters (depending on the Sherpa community) above sea level, they have built societies that are not only sustainable but advancing. Sherpa people have very strong, tight knit bonds with their friends and family with most villages ranging in population from the thousands to just a few hundred. Walking though a Sherpa village you would see a multi coloured tin roofed buildings, men and women tending to their potato and rice patches, and Yak’s, Cow’s, or Dzho’s (yak and cow hybrid) pulling wooden trailers carrying goods or people. On the streets you would hear the locals speaking their native language called “Sherpa”. The language is similar to Tibetan, but the Sherpa's do not actually have a written part to their dialect. Many Sherpa people make their living by running small tea houses and providing accommodations for passing travelers and adventure seekers. With roughly 360 million dollars moving through the Himalayan mountaineering market it is easy to see why it attracts so many of the local Sherpa people to capitalize on the opportunity of showing tourist from all over their giant backyard. Many people are amazed at the connection and kindness that the Sherpa people show one another and everyone who visits these villages. Making life long friends with the family that gives them shelter and feeds them during their visits. The Sherpa people are truly interesting and have even been deemed superhuman due to the fact that they have adapted to live at such high altitudes, resulting in powerful lungs. Their muscles are able to work off less oxygen than your typical “low lander” giving them an abundance of energy. They live, eat, breath, and survive in the most extreme conditions with winter temperature dropping below -20 Degrees Celsius in some parts of the mountain range. They truly are an awesome example of being able to adapt to your surroundings. With most of the Sherpa people following the religion practices of their ancestors, most of them practice Buddhism. So, with the cold and harsh environments of the Himalayan’s you find the most selfless, kind people. They have adapted to their surroundings but are not controlled by them. The Sherpa people are truly wild.

 

                When ever you see a picture of a person on top of Everest do you ever wonder who is holding the camera? When you hear somebody got stranded on the insane slopes of K2, but they made it down alive do you ever wonder how? The Sherpas who decide to get into the guiding industry are usually attracted to the job for the high pay. A typical guide will make anywhere between 3000-8000$ dollars over a two-month period, that is massive money in these Sherpa villages. For one season on Mount Everest a guide is able to feed his family for the year, and just like you and I that is all they want. What is another day at the office for these guides? ITS INSANE!! Yes, it is an absolutely incredibly insane line of work. The Sherpa guides start off the season typically in April/May by meeting their clients who each have payed thousands of dollars to summit one of the peaks that surround the homes of the guides. Soon after introduction and a few meals and drinks of home made hard liquor, the Sherpa guides load up their client’s belongings and gear on their backs and fore heads and start moving it all to the base camps 1300 meters from their starting village. After all the gear is moved the Sherpa's well set up camp and cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for their clients. When ever the mountaineers go out on climatizing treks the guides will carry all the gear and direct all climbers for the treks. When day comes to summit these massive peaks the Sherpa guide is the backbone behind the whole ascent and descent, when they get to the top there is no celebratory pose only another day of “living the dream”. These Sherpa guides face difficult decision making everyday, if someone is facing altitude sickness, lost on the mountain, suffering from frost bite, or one of the many variables that can happen while climbing these massive mountains, the Sherpa guides are the first ones to respond… the first ones with action. Their job calls for these guides to bring down dead bodies, so families can give their loved ones a proper burial. To summit the highest peaks multiple times and deal with novice climbers with a “go get er” stubborn attitude, who could put everyone on the expeditions life on the line.  They do all of this to supply their family with the sense of security and to put food in their bellies. The Sherpa mountain guides are “uncommon people among uncommon people” and put so much on the line just so that these adventure seekers can get their “yup I did that” ego boost. They live in the shadows of the mountains and are the unsung heroes of our adventure books.

 

                With social media and the ability to share adventure stories, people want that feeling of being on top of the world regardless of their experience. This brings lots of novice climbers and even some with no experience at all to the Himalayan’s. They bring their cheque book with a mind full of ambition and hopeful thoughts, but sadly that will not get you to the top of these peaks. Mountaineering with a  Sherpa or not,is no joke and it is a very dangerous sport/lifestyle. The people who do it dedicate lots of time and energy into their passion and careers. With novice climbers wanting to take on the big peaks, it puts a massive amount of pressure and responsibilities on the Sherpa guides. In 2016 the Sherpa's of Nepal started to get fed up and saying that they will not accept any more inexperienced climbers. They said "it is way to dangerous for them and everyone on the expedition". The Sherpa's demands were met and novice climbers are no longer allowed to summit Mount Everest, and many of the surrounding peaks. Ambition is great and it is inspiring when you see these wild people up on top of these incredible mountains, but remember who helped them get there and the amount of work that was put into make that summit. Because a picture is worth a thousand words.

 

 

 

STAY WILD AND STAY CURIOUS

CURIOSITY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND WHAT DO WE KNOW?

CURIOSITY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

 

                When somebody talks about curiosity what goes through your head? A young child discovering something for the first time? An ambitious student trying to understand what the hell their math teacher is talking about? Or do you think of early explorers and frontiersman going off into the unknown. Maybe you think of a scientist not sleeping for days because he might have found a solution that could save lives.  What ever crosses your mind when you think of curiosity, or what it means to be curious, you probably think that you have a solid understanding on what it is and what it means right? Because “what? it’s simple it’s just being curious right?” Well surprisingly what may be the most important human quality is something we (as people) know very little about.

 

                So, what is curiosity and what is the little we know about it? Curiosity is so much more than wanting to know something, it is the driving force that has pushed us from cave dwellers to landing a man on the moon. It is the thought of  ”what does this do” that has  brought us from being vulnerable to sickness and infection,  to having the luxury of being able to walk over to our medicine cabinet and take a pill to fight off any sickness that could have once kill us. People show curiosity through many ways like exploration, creativity, and experimentation. Any form of art or any place you visit and anything that you use daily, like all technology to the food in your fridge, are all there because some one was curious. So, what is curiosity? It is basically wanting to know and understand the unknown. The only thing we know for sure about curiosity, and our desire to want to know more, is that we really know nothing. A study coming out of Rochester University shows that curiosity is very important for human willingness and motivation and that when stripped of curiosity (given immediate answers) the subject was often left feeling unsatisfied and depressed. Even if that is all we know so far, I think it is a fantastic place to start, and that information says a lot.

 

                What does being curious look like today? With living in such a connected and information filled world you think that everything would be fantastic. Well when it comes to curiosity it truly is taking a hit on who we are and where we are going as people. Like stated above in the Rochester University study, when people have their curiosity urges immediately satisfied it leaves us often feeling gloomy. Think about it, some people will spend hours watching the news intaking tons of information and answers on questions they have about certain topics, and I know that doesn’t sound that bad but what is happening is the curious consumer is getting immediate satisfaction and because of that their dopamine is pumping like crazy, getting then hooked, and leaving them wanting more. But often we get so attached to what gives us those immediate answers and satisfactions that we lose our sense of adventure and what it means to truly develop our own experiences and in turn creating a more personal opinion on the matter, what ever it may be. Some psychologists believe that the reason why we are seeing an increased number in depression, ADD, and ADHD rates is because more people are not PROPERLY satisfying their curiosity needs. This is probably why technology addiction is so intense, because our primal curious qualities are being immediately met and always leaves us wanting more. So, with that being said, embrace your curiosity but don’t neglect the journey to get the answers that you are looking for, this well help you learn and appreciate what you are curious about. Which will give you not only a better understanding, but a personal story and opinion on what it is that tickles your fancy.

 

                There are roughly 7 billion people on this planet and each one of them has a sense of wander about them, a sense of wanting to know the unknown. 7 billion people on this planet and each one of them sharing the same quality. We are all curious and have the ability to do so much more than we think we are capable of. We are all natural born explorers, scientist, and artist. Everyone of us wanting to know what is out there, wanting to know what it is that drives us and how it works. It’s important to embrace these qualities not only in your self but in others, because being curious is being wild and we are all wild.

 

 

STAY WILD AND STAY CURIOUS.

Magic Dust: How death feeds life

        The Sahara desert, a waste land? Or the reason the amazon is the life supporting ecosystem that we have all learned to know and love today?

        Well the Sahara is a wasteland with only a couple handfuls of well adapted animals who can live there. That makes it one of the hardest places to sustain life. But it wasn’t always like that. The Sahara was once consumed by a sea and an abundence of life that moved freely through the waters. Then about 7 million years ago the waters and all that lived in it dried up, the shells of microscopic snail like animals fell to the bottom of the sea bed forming what we call the Sahara.

 

       Now what if someone told you that those shells that formed the sand in the Sahara are a major reason why the Amazon rain forest is thriving?  It would be kind of hard to believe them, you would say “No way man no flipping way” well that crazy guy who randomly tells you those kinds of things would be right. The Sahara sands, more importantly what the sand is made of, really does play a huge part in why the Amazon is able to put out so much oxygen and have such thriving life. But how?

         WIND STORMS BABY.  Yup that’s right huge winds carrying the sand made up of shells and carcases push across the desert over the Atlantic Ocean and land right there in you guessed it, the Amazon rain forest. Those windstorms that become dust storms travel 3000 miles, now that’s a lot of push. In fact they are so huge that they are tracked and measured from space.  182 million tons of sand leaves Africa and 27.7million tons of sand lands in the Amazon that’s like 689,290 filled semi trucks leaving the Sahara and 104,906 of those trucks dumping their shell consumed sand all over the amazon.

                The shells that make all of this happen are rich in phosphorus which is important for plant growth which in turn is important for oxygen levels and the ability to support life. It is quite an amazing thing that the reason why the amazon is the way it is or even there at all is because of death. It truly is an amazing example of the cycle of life, and just incredible to think of the connection between everything mother nature is complicated but one bad ass Mother Fucker.

WHERE DO HUMANS FALL ON THE FOOD CHAIN?

    AHHH  it feels good to be on top of the food chain, all these petty little animals below us so weak and vulnerable. where do we fall on the food chain you ask? Well on top of course! Right? 

    Well although as humans we have been very successful in many aspects of the natural world, we often are blind because of our own success and become very ignorant and naive to the things around us, and what we really are.... ANIMALS!! So where do we fall in the natural order of things, like the food chain? This may hurt you but its not very high. It is actually right smack dab in the middle. Give or take a couple variables, like what part of the earth you live in, food that is accessible to the area that you live in, and the diets you choose as an individual. But for simplicity lets talk about everyone as a whole. Cause Chad at your local gym who only eats alligator "aint not mother f*cking middle of the food chain type of guy" 

    So lets get to it. Why are we in the middle of the food chain? When you look at the food chain it is broken up generally into 5 different trophic levels (a way to categories organisms based on their diet) and they go as such.

Level 1: Plants and algae make their own food and are called producers.

Level 2: Herbivores eat plants and are called primary consumers.

Level 3: Carnivores that eat herbivores are called secondary consumers.

Level 4: Carnivores that eat other carnivores are called tertiary consumers.

Level 5: Apex predators that have no predators are at the top of the food chain.

   So how do us humans fall in the middle? If you look at the different trophic levels you can see that majority of humans are either primary consumers (Level 2) or secondary consumers (Level 3) with the majority of the majority having a mixed diet placing them between level 2 and level 3. This puts us on the same link in the food chain as anchovies and pigs. Sure is a ego booster aint it. But before you get all pissed off and say "screw that man I have a gun, aint no stupid animal gonna take me down. I'll show you apex" remember that this is completely based off our diets and where we fall is by what we consume, not what we hunt. But lets face it, if a bear or a tiger learns how to use a weapon we would probably fall short on the hunting scale as well.

    With all that being said we can surely agree that our biggest fault is also our greatest success. Our enormous flipping brains. We may not be on top of the food chain when it comes to our daily diets but we live in a very amazing world and the fact that we are able observe, explore, and learn from it is an  amazing privilege and should never be taken for granted. 

STAY WILD AND STAY CURIOUS

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/51/20617

https://curiosity.com/topics/this-is-where-humans-rank-on-the-food-chain-spoiler-were-not-on-top-curiosity/