Photo Of The Day: Buffalo In Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is among our country’s most famous, and arguably most beautiful, natural wonders. In addition to dramatic scenery, the park is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including elk, wolves, bears and that most iconic of symbols from the American Plains: the buffalo. I love the lighting, the idyllic setting and most importantly, the herd of buffalo grazing in today’s photo of Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, courtesy of Flickr user Max Waugh Photography.

Taken any great photos of our nation’s national parks? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Max Waugh Photography]

Brazen Poaching Of Rare Rhinoceros Species In India

poaching, rhino
Two recent poaching incidents reveal the dangers faced by India’s rare animals, even when they are supposedly under protection.

The BBC reports that a one-horned rhino was shot in Assam when it wandered out of Kaziranga National Park. Poachers took its horn but the animal did not die. Park staff are now trying to save it. The park is home to about two-thirds of the world’s population of one-horned rhinos, which number in total fewer than 3,000 individuals. Thirteen of the animals have been poached in the park in the past nine months.

On the same day, the BBC reported the poaching of a tiger in a zoo. Poachers entered the Itanagar zoo in Arunachal Pradesh and hacked a female tiger into half a dozen pieces before being scared off by the security guards, who had been away eating dinner.

The Times of India reports that several employees have been fired over the zoo incident. No arrests have been made in either crime.

Poaching is a major problem in many countries because of the high demand for animal parts as trophies and for use in traditional medicine.

[Photo courtesy Mandeep Singh]

Exploring The Beauty Of Acadia National Park

acadia national park The United States is home to many beautiful national parks worth exploring. One of these is Maine‘s Acadia National Park, the first national park to have been established east of the Mississippi River. Rugged coastline, granite peaks, historic hiking trails, myriad plant and animal species and Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the United States’ North Atlantic Coast at 1,532 feet, all help to bring two million visitors to the park each year.

Along with Cadillac Mountain, there are many worthwhile sights to check out at Acadia. First there is the scenic 45-mile carriage road system, which can be explored via a bike or horse-drawn carriage tour. Additionally, the historic Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, built in 1858 out of brick, stands tall and proud 56 feet above the water. Jordan Pond, Hunter’s Beach, Sand beach, Otter Cliff and Mill Cove are just some of the other must-see features of the park.

To see the allure of Acadia National Park for yourself, check out the gallery below.

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[Images via Big Stock]

Belgian Trekker Murdered In Nepal

Langtang National Park, site of a murder in NepalA 23-year-old Belgian trekker who had been missing for ten days was found murdered in a popular national park in Nepal. The decapitated remains of Debbie Maveau were discovered on June 14, but authorities remain baffled as to who could have killed her and why.

Maveau was traveling solo through Nepal when she elected to visit the popular Langtang National Park, located along the border of Tibet. The park is a popular destination for hikers and independent travelers who have frequently visited the region over the years. But it seems that it is an increasingly hostile place for female trekkers, as this isn’t the only case of violence in recent months. Back in December, two women, one Korean and one American, were both assaulted in Langtang within a week of one another, which has prompted travel warnings for those visiting the region.

What is most troubling about this latest case, however, is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear motive behind the brutal killing. Police say that Maveau wasn’t sexually assaulted, nor was she robbed. They found 8000 rupees (about $93) and a digital camera on her body, which indicates that who ever murdered her wasn’t looking for cash. Authorities also said that local residents haven’t been helpful in generating leads either, which has left them with few clues as to how to proceed with their investigation.

This is a sad story to say the least and probably one of the worst nightmares for many travelers. While something like this can obviously happen anywhere, it is always a bit disturbing when it takes place while someone is visiting a foreign country.

Our condolences go out to this young woman’s friends and family.

[Photo credit: Yosarian via WikiMedia]

A US National Park Ranger Tells All

national park ranger Grand CanyonMemorial Day is fast approaching, kicking off the beginning of the busiest time for America’s national parks – the summer season. Budget Travel has just published some confessions from a national park ranger (stationed at the Grand Canyon, judging from his anecdotes). Think Americans are the most reverent about our national treasures? Think again. It’s more likely to be a foreigner who knows better than to ask where the bridge across the Grand Canyon is, or be genuinely interested in the history behind the parks. But if you show some real interest and respect, a park ranger is likely to help make your experience in the park even more memorable.

If you’re headed to a park this summer, you may want to check out the Park Advocate, the official blog of the National Parks Conservation Association. They post helpful tools for hikers, interesting lesser-known stories about the parks and other multimedia and news for visitors.

Read the full confessions at BudgetTravel.com.

[Photo courtesy Grand Canyon NPS‘ Flickr photostream.]