Life-changing encounters with wildlife
To mark a milestone birthday, I’ve decided to celebrate others: other species who live on Earth. We tend to focus a lot of our attention on the human world, but life isn't all about us. Homo sapiens is just one of the 8.7 million species of living things; of mammals, we’re one of 6,400 species. We know plenty about how the presence of other people affects us – but what about the presence of other animals, especially those living in the wild? What do they bring? And what do we stand to lose if habitat loss and species extinctions continue? Join me in pausing to acknowledge and appreciate the presence of other living things on this planet.
Here, my guests share an encounter with wildlife that touched them to the core, and possibly even changed the course of their lives. These experiences often take us out of ourselves, reminding us of our true place in the animal kingdom: that of fellow traveller. They may evoke feelings of awe and humility, and a sense of connection with all living things – with life itself. These are the experiences we look back on and feel grateful for: how lucky we were to have been alive to have this moment with another animal! One thing is certain: these encounters change us, for the better.
Now, let's hear from those with stories of unforgettable encounters with animals in the wild.
Catriona Ross is a book author and journalist. Formerly features editor on O, The Oprah Magazine and Cosmopolitan, she currently works on the editorial team of Rewilding Southern Africa. While editor of local fiction at Penguin Random House South Africa, she chaired the company’s environmental committee. She holds a bachelor of science degree in zoology, a post-graduate diploma in marketing management, and a master’s degree in creative writing, all from the University of Cape Town.