Each year, an estimated 35,000 elephants are lost to poaching. In Africa alone, the elephant population has been reduced to less than half its size in 30 years as poachers seek to harvest their tusks to support illegal ivory trade. If unstopped, this rate could lead to extinction within the next 10 years.
In Nairobi, Kenya, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (@dswt) has established the Orphan’s Project. At their conservation refuge, volunteers take in and raise baby and adolescent elephants that have been orphaned after their parents have been poached. To date, the project has successfully recovered and raised over 150 orphaned elephants and reintroduced them successfully into the wild.
The Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai provides similar refuge for Asian elephants. The organization rescues distressed elephants—elephants who have been abused by handlers or subject to damaging work conditions—and rehabilitates them within their sanctuary. They also stand as an important ecotourism destination where tourists and volunteers can come to interact with and learn about wildlife in responsible, constructive ways.
To learn more about the elephant crisis and how you can help, check out the following organizations:
In October of 2012, UK art studio Random International unveiled something amazing at London’s Barbican Centre: a 100-square-meter room filled with artificial rain known as the Rain Room.
A series of 3D cameras tracks the presence of people in the space and stops the rain from falling directly around them, allowing visitors to wander and play throughout the downpour while staying completely dry.
The installation traveled to New York City for MoMA’sEXPO 1 in May of this year and will end July 28th. Throughout its tour, Rain Room has quickly become a favorite for local and travelling Instagrammers, who have captured photos and videos of the magical experience.
For more photos of Hong Kong’s towering architecture, be sure to follow @vdubl on Instagram.
Hong Kong-based architect Vivien Wei Wei Liu (@vdubl) loves building design and mobile photography—two passions that come together in a powerful way through her Instagram images. “The design of buildings in Hong Kong is based on spatial scarcity; a struggle to house as many people on the smallest site possible,” explains Vivien. “The notion of living closely has a different connotation in what is one of the densest places in the world.”
Through her smartphone, Vivien captures the seemingly endless repetition and colorful patterns found in many of the city’s residential towers and deep urban canyons, where light barely reaches the street level. “My goal is to immerse the viewer into the space in which the photo was taken,” Vivien says.
Vivien, who helped organize a recent Instameet in Hong Kong, is also fascinated with the city’s stunning skyline. “One of the unique characteristics of Hong Kong is that in less than 20 minutes from the city, one can be immersed in lush greenery while enjoying spectacular views that juxtapose nature and the dense urban fabric.”