Broadly, the topics that interest me are water, health, and leadership. Specifically, I'm focused on changing conversations around the true value of ocean, lakes, rivers, and wildlife; adoption, wellness, and emotional health; leadership, change, creativity, and neuroscience. Oh, and sea turtles.
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I'm often asked if I think the emotional reactions to water we call #BlueMind are "just a western cultural response to the marketing of waterways and oceans".
This water-emotion thing has been around a long time, early human remains by lakes, rivers and wetlands are well documented.
River-margin habitat of Ardipithecus ramidus at Aramis, Ethiopia 4.4 million years ago. But it goes even deeper than that.
“Ancestral forms of play & laughter existed in other animals eons before we humans came along.” ~ Jaak Panksepp
I'll let our non-human ancestors speak (mostly) for themselves as they interact with all forms of water.
They do almost everything else in slow motion, but Panama’s pygmy sloths are surprisingly proficient swimmers—and they find relative safety in the sea.
You've seen surfing dogs. Now meet Kama. Kama and owner Kai Holt hit Sandy Beach for a surf session with the locals in Oahu.
Chimpanzees at Gombe National Park in Tanzania often become animated during rainstorms and around waterfalls.
"Chimpanzees' brain is so like ours, they have emotions, incredible intellectual abilities. So why wouldn't they also have feelings of some kind spirituality: being amazed at things outside yourself. And it’s the same at the start of a heavy rain." - Jane Goodall
“Chimps will do these five-minute long displays in response to rain and waterfalls. They typically display for aggressive reasons—to show status, to impress or intimidate other mating males. It’s clear why they do it except when they see a waterfall. Normal displays are 30 seconds but a waterfall display is five minutes!” ~ M.W. Foster
Male chimpanzees are highly competitive and often fight for dominance, but in the savanna woodlands of southern Senegal, where one group of chimps was tracked for six weeks @FransLanting found a secret waterhole recently filled with rain. In the brutal summer heat it provided precious relief and squabbles were suspended for a temporary truce. Blue Mind, primate style!
Zola showing off his dance moves in a behind-the-scenes video shot by zookeeper Ashley Orr. Enrichment helps enhance the environment and lives of animals, like Zola, by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural behaviors. Enrichment can take many forms, but for this spunky great ape, it means playing and spinning in his favorite blue pool while off habitat!
Tian Tian a panda living at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. woke up this morning and played in the snow.
We should ALL make time to enjoy the simple things in life. Like water.
This husky was supposed to be learning to swim...but he had other plans.
In this brief video, IFAW's Kelly Donithan visits tigers Carli and Lily at Safe Haven Rescue Zoo in Nevada and witnesses the first time they are able to feel what it's like to swim.
"This water feature for tigers is going to keep them entertained, happy, comfortable, and it just gives them a great life."
Chimps are thought to be afraid of water and incapable of swimming. A pair of researchers is challenging that perspective.
The nostrils and webbed feet of the proboscis monkey allow it to swim under water for up to 20m.
"Water makes elephants. And water makes elephants happy.” Carl Safina
And I suppose you could say the same for pigs!
This pig too.
I've had Labrador retrievers and Newfoundlands (Blue, Red, Greta and Fisher) as companions through the years. All water dogs to the max.
Walter, is a special dog, who really loves the Italian sea!
Jaguar diving into water to fetch its food. While dense rainforest is its preferred habitat, the jaguar will range across a variety of forested and open terrains. It is strongly associated with the presence of water and is notable, along with the tiger, as a feline that enjoys swimming.
Wild bear swims in pool.
This bear too!
Sir David Attenborough describes these wading baboons as "uncomfortable". I respecfully disagree!
The relationship of Bubbles and Bella developed because of their shared love of the water. Their pursuit of "aquatic antics" instilled a strong bond between these unlikely pals. Bubbles was adopted as an ivory orphan by the Myrtle Beach Safari in 1983. As Bubbles grew over the years, from 300 – 9000 pounds, so too did her love for swimming. In 2007, a contractor hired to build Bubbles a swimming pool, abandoned Bella as a puppy at The Preserve. The pool and eventually the river presented these two the opportunity to interact in a way that developed a deep and lasting friendship. Today they are almost inseparable.
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