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Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel peace prize, died on Sunday night of cancer. She was 71.

A towering figure in Kenya, Maathai was renowned as a fearless social activist and an environmental crusader. Her Green Belt Movement, which she founded in 1977, planted tens of millions of trees.

Maathai’s death was confirmed in a statement on the movement’s website.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Professor Wangari Maathai announces her passing away on 25 September 2011, at the Nairobi hospital, after a prolonged and bravely borne struggle with cancer. Her loved ones were with her at the time.”

Maathai was a pioneer from an early age and in many spheres. After winning a scholarship to study in the US, she returned to a newly independent Kenya, becoming the first woman in east and central Africa to obtain a PhD. Maathai was also the first woman professor the University of Nairobi, where she taught veterinary medicine.

Her work with voluntary groups alerted her to the struggles of women in rural Kenya, and it quickly became her life’s cause. Noticing how the rapid environmental degradation was affecting women’s lives, she encouraged them to plant trees to ensure future supplies of firewood and to protect water sources and crops.

Maathai’s agenda quickly widened as she joined the struggle against the repressive and corrupt regime of Daniel arap Moi. Her efforts to stop powerful politicians grabbing land, especially forests, brought her into conflict with the authorities, and she was beaten and arrested numerous times. Her bravery and defiance made her a hero in Kenya. […]

Maathai had been in and out of hospital this year, though most Kenyans were unaware of her illness until it was reported in the local media late last week.

“Professor Maathai’s departure is untimely and a very great loss to all who knew her – as a mother, relative, co-worker, colleague, role model, and heroine; or who admired her determination to make the world a more peaceful, healthier, and better place,” the statement from her organisation said.

Maathai is survived by her three children and a granddaughter.

Wangari Maathai, Nobel peace prize winner, dies at 71 | World news | guardian.co.uk (via teramerapyar)

(via boogerbrains-deactivated2013051)

Filed under Wangari Maathai Africa Kenya environment badass women

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animalworld:

HIPPOPOTAMUSHippopotamus amphibius©Michael Nichols
rhamphotheca:

A partially submerged Hippopotamus (H. amphibious) tries to keep cool in the hot African sun.
(photo: MIchael Nichols)
“ Hippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the “river horse.” Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. However, they are often large enough to simply walk or stand on the lake floor, or lie in the shallows. Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads, which allows them to see and breathe while mostly submerged…”
(read more: National Geo)

—-
Other big creatures in the water:
Hippo, her calf and egret
Polar Bear
Tiger “Dancing” in the water

animalworld:

HIPPOPOTAMUS
Hippopotamus amphibius
©Michael Nichols

rhamphotheca:

A partially submerged Hippopotamus (H. amphibious) tries to keep cool in the hot African sun.

(photo: MIchael Nichols)

“ Hippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the “river horse.” Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. However, they are often large enough to simply walk or stand on the lake floor, or lie in the shallows. Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads, which allows them to see and breathe while mostly submerged…”

(read more: National Geo)

—-

Other big creatures in the water:

Hippo, her calf and egret

Polar Bear

Tiger “Dancing” in the water

(via cephalopodqueen)

Filed under Africa Herbivore Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius Nature Photography Wallow Wildlife africa hippo mammal