Leopards are safe

Some excellent conservation news from South Africa, the country that is allegedly going all out to kill as many rhinos as possible, that there is absolutely no chance of the endangered leopard (Panthera pardus) becoming extinct. Now this may come as a surprise to many, given that current conservation measures seem to be struggling somewhat, but The Nazareth Baptist Church, known locally as the Shembe, who use leopard skins as part of traditional ceremonies, have inside information that leopards will be around in perpetuity.

This comes after the Shembe threw conservationist Tristan Dickerson out of their church over the weekend after he suggested that they might consider using fake leopard skins rather than the real thing. Their reaction:

“This guy is undermining Zulu customs. We cannot be dictated to by a white man about what to wear during our ceremonies,” said Siphiwe Shoba, a church member.

Mzandile Gasa said: “God would not have sent a white person to tell us how to worship him”.

So there we go. They know best.

But what would happen if the leopard was to disappear from our landscapes forever? What would the Shembe use as traditional dress for their ceremonies then?

Well, it’s not a dilemma they have to consider, thanks to the big man upstairs:

On Sunday, church members laughed off Dickerson’s attempts to educate them about leopards, saying: “God will never allow the wild cats to vanish.”

Which, as with their reaction to Dickerson’s advances, is just great.

It does, however, raise some questions as to what exactly the dodo did to displease god, or what rhinos are currently doing to upset him. Why take it out on those species while going out of your way to protect leopards? Does he like spotty cats or something? I’m not a big reader, but I don’t recall seeing anything about that in the Bible. I may have skipped a few pages though.

Either way, the decision has been made and you can do what you like to try and prevent rhino poaching – and I’m sure that Facebook petition you just signed will make the world of difference – its a foregone conclusion that rhinos will shortly be no more. They have no divine protection.

Leopards, on the other hand, have apparently got it made. And presumably, that means that Tristan being chucked out of church on Sunday shouldn’t concern anyone too much.
He was wasting his time with his unnecessary and tautological campaigning anyway.

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I needed that…

Back to Cape Town and back home after a couple of days at the cottage and I have realised that I needed a break there to remind me that this is a good country to live in.

Don’t get me wrong. SA is my home. My house is here, my wife and kids were born here and I have settled in like a duck settling into water (big splash, few ruffled feathers, some soggy bread). And I love it here. But coming back from our recent visit to the UK, I was again reminded about the thing I don’t enjoy in SA: the lack of personal freedom. (and the fast internet – Ed.)

Even living (as we do) in a leafy, decent suburb, people are uneasy about going out at night. While we were in the UK, wandering up the road to the pub each evening was great. Here, the roads are poorly lit, the standard of driving is poor, especially in the evenings and the chances of being mugged are unnecessarily high. We all live and exist behind great big, high walls and I miss the freedom that living in the UK gives you.

But that’s in the city. Down in Agulhas, things are so much more open. No walls, no electric fences. (I hope I’m not giving the burglars helpful information here.) I needed to be reminded that this can happen here. And we made the most of it. Beach, braai, beer. Brilliant.

It reset my system and I am at peace again.

6 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in cape agulhas, emigration, heading north 2012, positive thoughts, this is south africa, uk


Nothing from me here today, I’m afraid.
While the rest of the world (really? -Ed.) is watching the Stormers and the Sharks egg-chasing at Newlands, I’m braai’ing at our little cottage in Agulhas, and I can safely say that there’s nowhere else that I’d rather be.

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Facebook status update…

I enjoyed a status update that I spotted on Facebook this morning.

Here’s a sample line:

 I looked out of the window and saw the patio covered in kittens (which I have never seen before)

The rest of it was about dolphins, sharks and shooting stars.

No drugs were involved. Allegedly.

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That Smart Trash Can Video

I was going to post this earlier in the week, but I felt the video was a bit dull. But then 5fm featured it on their “news” bulletin this morning and I thought you might want to see what it’s all about.
It is quite clever and worth sitting through the Japanese titles etc.

I’m also using this post as an experiment to see if I can manage without the usual youtube plugin I use to embed videos into blog posts. This is because of warnings from our hosting service that we’re using too much bandwidth.

If you can’t see the video above, please let me know in the comments below and I will look into it.

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