Cape Town - On Friday the World celebrated World Wildlife Day, on the same day renowned photographic and conservation specialists Dereck and Beverly Joubert were attacked by a charging buffalo.
The award-winning South African documentary filmmakers were charged by the buffalo over the weekend in the Okavango-delta in Botswana. Both were injured, Beverly quite severely, but is said to be stable in ICU. Friday was also Dereck Joubert's birthday.
Dereck Joubert posted to Twitter saying,"Just to let you know, yesterday [Friday] evening there was an accident where we were stormed by a buffalo in the Okavango.
"Beverly and I were both injured, but Beverly far more seriously. She is now stable in the intensive care and we expect that she will recover soon."
On Sunday evening, the same post on their Big Cats Initiative had over 370 comments, with people expressing their concern, prayers and well-wishes for a speedy recovery.
Posting to their Big Cats Initiative Facebook page before the attack they said, "There's so much unbelievable life out there. So many species that most of us will only see a fraction of them. Every one has a place in the environment that they're best adapted to.
"Everything is linked to make ecosystems healthy and functioning. Every species that is lost, weakens our very own grasp on survival. So let us celebrate all the wildlife out there and work towards a world that is more inclusive of species other than our own - because, ultimately we depend on them."
The couple have been National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, researching African wildlife since the 1980s - with their focus shifting strongly to focus on the plight of big cats across the globe, mostly due to habitat loss and hunting.
This conservation passion has since culminated into the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative - a programme "dedicated to the preservation of big cats—lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs through education, conservation projects, and a worldwide awareness campaign".
SEE: #WorldWildlifeDay: 4 Major Wildlife crises in SA, where is the DEA?
Together through Great Plains conservation, the Big Cats Initiative has been having an immense impact as it funds 85 different projects in 27 countries. According the couple, Botswana is one of the top places to see big cats, listing the Okavango Delta and Selinda Reserve as two of the top five spots worldwide in a recent interview with Wanderlust
South Africa is sorely missing from the list, even with our iconic Kruger. And in stark contrast to their efforts the department of environmental affairs has been under fire for its efforts to protect the species, with the much maligned canned lion hunting and recent lion bone trade quota bringing us even further into disrepute.
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