Friday, December 15, 2017

A U.K. perspective on animals in Ghana.

I have been in Ghana for over 10 weeks now and I have loved it. The one thing I love most is how free all the animals are. In the UK where I am, I have seen animals kept behind fences or kept in cages for their lives. Here in Ghana the animals roam free as they should be. You could be sitting on a rock and a donkey, bull, sheep or even goats can pass you, even walk up to you, roaming and grazing freely as they should. The animals are doing what they are meant to do without the cages or fences barricading them in.

'Chillin on a Sunday'
Photo credit: Natalie Innes
Moreover, Ghana is the first place I have ever seen guinea fowl up close - they are quirky birds! At my host home there is a group of them who I like to nickname the 'Feathered Fiends'. One night I returned home and as I went to put my bike into the storage area,  I heard noises that caught me by surprise. I discovered that these noises were actually the group of guinea fowl,  plunging down into the darkness - without being seen but definitely heard. The 'Feathered Fiends' get up to a lot of mischief. For example, my host family keep some harvest products on the roof - away from the animals. However, the guinea fowl go up there and knock it down to the ground for everyone. It turns into a massive animal party!

One morning, I had an experience with a wild animal I had never seen nor heard of before - a black kite. A black kite is a bird of prey native to Sub-Saharan areas of Africa. I was riding my bike when, out of nowhere, a bird swooped down in front of me and landed a few feet away. There it was, a magnificent black kite. I had never seen a black kite before nor had I been up close to a bird of prey in Africa. It was a spectacular sight and I will not forget it.

At my host home the animals are placed into shelter and night to keep them safe till dawn breaks. The animals at my host home are plentiful and happy. There is a ram (named ‘Hulk’) who has a great personality and has learnt to open the door and enter the house. He is even teaching the other animals to do it as well! The animals are so friendly, and most are not afraid to approach you and say hello. Back in the UK, animals will not come near you unless they know who you are, or approach you in curiosity. However, in Ghana I have only seen animals in cages when they are up for sale. Other than seeing the animals roam freely in Ghana the one other place I have witnessed it is in Scotland, you can get caught up in traffic jams because there is a herd of sheep hanging about in the roads. It’s so funny! I have also enjoyed naming all the baby animals at my host home as each one has a different personality. I even named a baby goat Angel because she reminded me of my dog at home, they are as funny as each other. I hope in the UK more animals would be able roam around more freely as its what animals are meant to do. Free the animals – no cages and no zoos!
'Toby looking for ants to torment!'
Photocredit Natalie Innes

'Where's my mama?'
Photocredit: Natalie Innes

Written By Madison Blickem.


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