Monday, May 13, 2013

Rozalia Project Intern Blog:

Today's intern blog comes from Vermonter Gigi Veve. Gigi studies Zoology at the University of Vermont and has had some unique experiences with orcas in Argentina! We hope she is a lucky charm when she joins us on American Promise and we all get to see some amazing orcas.

When I was a young girl I watched Moby Dick with my dad, who was a former dive master and adventurer of the sea. I will never forget the disgust and hopelessness that I felt towards the sperm whales that were getting slaughtered for their bodily possessions. Around the age of 10 my parents brought me to Sea World in Florida, there, once again I witnessed unbelievably incredible species being exploited, purely for human entertainment; all of it seemed so inhumane. I knew even at that time that these huge and beautiful creatures were not meant to be treated like this, they were meant to be in the wild. I knew then that no matter what it took I was going to spend the rest of my life doing whatever I possibly could to save these creatures from harm.

Killer whales have always impressed me in ways that no other species have. I was lucky enough to have parents with a passion for wildlife photography and I was given the opportunity to visit the Punta Norte Orca Research facility in Peninsula Valdes, Argentina. For two weeks I was completely detached from the world, living on a ranch that ran on power from an onsite generator running from sunrise to sunset. In the two weeks we dreamed about being able to witness an attack. This is the only place in the world where these majestic creatures beach themselves in order to attack sea lion colonies along the shores, and sure enough we got to see one. That moment, 7am Juan and I (Juan was one of the scientists and the owner of the ranch) sprinting with our cameras in hand as quietly as we could (so we would not disturb the sea lion colonies) got on our hands and knees and once we were close enough, inched our ways to the shoreline. Mel, one of the male killer whales, was circling the area eying the colony, especially the oblivious pups that were playing along the shore. Before I knew it the whole crew had caught up and we were all in a line waiting for it… then it happened. Mel’s complete body came out of the water and snatched one of the pups from the shore. All I could hear was the constant clicking of everybody’s cameras going off, and that’s when I put mine down. I figured this was the one chance to be able to see this for my own eyes, and I was not letting a camera get in the way of such a breath taking experience.

Having this experience at the age of 16 was monumental in my decision to spend the rest of my life working with, and doing my best to save the whales of the world. When I learned about the Rozalia Project I was instantly attracted to its overall goal of cleaning up the ocean debris. In order to save the species of the ocean we must keep it clean. Learning in classes and witnessing first hand the affects of inadequate debris disposal of humans, has pushed me to want to make the world a far cleaner place for this generation and well into the future. Having the opportunity to be an intern for Rozalia Project will allow me to continue my life goal and share it with others who share the same passion as I do

No comments:

Post a Comment