Bringing Stories to Life: The Wildlife Blog Collection Book

Heading into January 2019, we set ourselves the challenge of publishing a 300-page book about wildlife in one month. Amazed by the quality and quantity of Wildlife Blogger of the Year entries, we decided to showcase and share these stories more widely in a book. Even more ambitiously, we challenged ourselves to compile, edit, design, market and publish all in one month. Thanks to 70 writers and bloggers from around the world who put their favourite wildlife moments into words, the writing was a collaborative effort. But if you take the time, energy and creativity each writer poured into crafting their …

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Snap! Behind the Scenes of Lion Selfies with Jess Murray

Hidden behind that cute-and-cuddly lion cub selfie is the chilling story of an industry that exploits – and eventually kills – lions. And it’s fuelled by tourists who think they’re helping. Conservationist Jess Murray’s powerful story about lion tourism and canned hunting – voted Second Runner Up by Wildlife Blogger of the Year judges – is based on a chilling undercover filming assignment in Africa. But she turned the experience into an important message for all travellers and wildlife-lovers. “I think good conservation blogs and stories have a responsibility to tackle controversial issues – and this one does that excellently”, …

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Mulling Over Culling with Marine Biologist Asiem Sanyal

You might not expect the – often distasteful – topic of culling for conservation to win over Wildlife Blogger of the Year judges, but Asiem Sanyal’s story did just that. ‘Mulling Over Culling‘, Sanyal’s informative account of culling lionfish in Bermuda (which, as it turns out, are actually quite tasty), voted him First Runner Up by judges. “The explosion of lionfish is a huge issue that many people are unaware of; this piece does a great job of bringing this urgent story to a wider audience”, said conservation blogger Dr James Borrell. Travel and nature writer James Lowen called it, …

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Wildlife for all Ages: An Interview with 12-year-old Runner Up Alex Brickle

Alex Brickle’s refreshing, honest play-by-play of a wildlife-moment-that-wasn’t (‘The one that got away‘) awarded him Second Runner Up place by the judges of Wildlife Blogger of the Year – at only age 12. When we launched the competition, we didn’t expect an entry from someone Alex’s age. But with stories from authors aged 12 to 74 around the globe, we enjoyed experiencing wildlife through so many different perspectives. We’re also beyond thrilled to hear that, as Alex puts it, “This competition has pushed me to become a better writer and I couldn’t be happier with the result.” We were curious …

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Travel the World with Wildlife in New Book of Short Stories

When we first set out to run Wildlife Blogger of the Year – a brand-new idea in it’s first year – we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. There was even a nervous, fidgety moment of doubt when we weren’t sure if we’d receive any entries. Now 91 stories, 7 continents and more than 27 countries later, we’re amazed to discover how many people are writing about wildlife. From the delightful dissecting of barn owl pellets in Scotland, to endangered frogs nearly missed in Ecuadorean gale force winds, to an elusive pangolin stumbled upon in South Africa, there were countless …

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Inside wildlife storytelling: An interview with Wildlife Blogger of the Year winner Gianluca Cerullo

On 31 December 2018, Gianluca Cerullo’s story The rare jungle cat that thrives in degraded rainforests, featuring a bag of his own poo-for-research, won the 2018 Wildlife Blogger of the Year competition based on judges’ votes. Just before he jets off for his next project in Colombia, we caught up with Gianluca to ask about his uncensored accounts of field research, why rainforests are more resilient than we think and what he hopes this story will achieve. What prompted you to include such an honest account of the realities of fieldwork using one’s own poo? When I first told my …

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Liverpool’s Hidden Nightlife | by Robert Wreglesworth

When I worked as an ecological consultant, a lot of my work revolved around one group of species, the bats. Partly due to its legal protection, but also due to the way it has adapted to live alongside humans. In many cases even taking to using our residences as their homes, often without the homeowners awareness. I love this about bats; they quietly go about their business slipping off into the night and returning before we leave our beds to go to work. Even in the most urban settings it is actually more common than not to hear one on …

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Cuddle Me ~ Kill Me, a story of the lion farming industry in South Africa | by Debbie Groom

I was tossing two or three projects around in my mind, but couldn’t decide which to visit first, then one day ‘Cuddle Me ~ Kill Me’ the book by Richard Peirce happened to pop up on my Facebook page, a signed copy, I ordered it. The book starts by telling the story of Oliver and Obi, unwittingly raised by volunteers believing they are doing a good thing, hand raising ‘orphan cubs’. The story unfolds, the two cubs, along with many others, including black leopards and tigers, first come into the ‘cub cuddling’ arena of tourism, handled by tourists looking to …

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The truth behind my lion selfie | by Jess Murray

As I apprehensively shuffled into the cage, my gut clenched and my heart stopped…I immediately knew that I was in a bad place, and I desperately wanted to run straight back out. But something stronger told me to carry on, and that by enduring the next hour in this awful place I could find hope to make a positive change to the hell that I currently found myself encased in. After an hour of experiencing the heartbreaking pain of filming undercover, I spent the next hour crying at what I had seen, both angry and upset. And that’s when I …

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The Omen of Ostional – by Patrick Lally

On the morning of April 9th 2018, I found myself nearly three months into my Central American backpacking trip, I awoke to my last day on the ‘Rich Coast’, in the modest village of Nosara. A year prior and I would be found in urban London, on my way home from work, riding the wonders of the northern line. Not however, without the company of Paulo Coelho’s novel ‘The Alchemist’ to hand, a book about a young man who seeks wisdom and knowledge through adventure and omens. After gaining a degree in Anthropology, my passion for travel and culture was …

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