I am not a person who grew up having pets or close to animals. Unlike many of my friends who are animal lovers, I find it hard to relate how they are able to have such close relationships towards animals. But the older I get, the braver and more experiences I have with animals. I am also more aware of the kind of animals I am more fond of. For example, I prefer dogs better than cats. I am no where happy to be in contact with lizards, but the most random animals I grew to love are those who has huge bodies yet very tender. Yes, I have humongous respect and love for God’s creation, the gentle giants.
Whether they are underwater or lives on land, I don’t exactly know the reason why I love these gentle giants. I guess maybe for the fact that I am adventurous and super out of the ordinary (a gentler word for weird), I want to meet extra ordinary creatures to be more mindful of God’s greatest creations.
In September 2017, I was blessed to be able to dive 20 meters down the ocean and found a beautiful, beautiful Mola-mola or Ocean Sunfish! It was in Nusa Penida, Bali where I went to go diving with a group of people and made wonderful memories. Mola-mola is the world’s heaviest bony fish! It could weigh up to 1000kg (*gasp*) with 1.8 meters in length. They have a flat body with fins and swims in the deep and strong currents and move towards the surface when they want to bask some sun to their body. It was such an amazing opportunity facing this gentle giant deep in the ocean.
When I was in college, I watched a documentary about elephants (and their adorable babies!) and how amazing these creatures are. This gentle giants who not only has huge body, but also a huge heart. As the sayings “elephants never forgets”, they are one of a few animals that mourns the loss of a family and they are actually matriarchal animals. Which means the female elephants leads the pack! Talk about women empowerment, am I right? Indonesia is home to a species of Sumatran Elephant and knowing that they have a huge national park just for these elephants, got me soooo happy! So during Christmas break of 2017, I went to Lampung with my brother and some blogger friends. We went to Way Kanan, which was a traditional village in west of Lampung, then we went to Way Kambas National Park in East Lampung. This place is where my dream of meeting elephants up close came true! I was so happy to see these great creatures. The gentle giant with a humbling persona. ❤
Now, for those who knows me quite well, ever since I started traveling, I prefer a vacation at the beach or the ocean. This is also where I started to pursue my bucket list of seeing the gorgeous gentle giant, whale shark. Whale shark in Indonesia have gotten so popular that it became a tourist destination to most. However, many local tourists still doesn’t know how to properly meet them. Like, they weren’t suppose to touch them! Because they are such gentle creatures, whale sharks doesn’t mind that humans touch them. Until some cases in the country, that many whale sharks have become hurt and filled with scars on their body and fins. Which broke my heart. And the fact that I tried to meet them twice in Berau, Kalimantan and both times I was out of luck! 😦 I still believe that one day I will meet them in the waters. If not back in Kalimantan, maybe in other places in Indonesia ❤ There has been a “rumor” going on too about this gentle giants to be placed in one of Jakarta’s entertainment space, Taman Impian Jaya Ancol — specifically Sea World. And knowing that this beautiful gentle giant does not belong in a glass aquarium, people made a petition for it. Please made yourself aware of the danger this creature is facing and support by signing the petition here.
I don’t know how I became so obsessed of gentle giant animals, but it sure made me realize how big the world is, how small we are as humans and how detail Allah SWT has created all His creatures from the tiniest to the biggest, MasyaAllah. This blog post is also dedicated to the heart breaking news of the death (and start of extinction) of a male white rhino in Africa named, Sudan :(. May we humans become more aware of nature’s importance to ourselves and to others and to stop hunting and hurting animals, especially the beautiful gentle giants ❤