Prepare the Pith Helmets & Goggles,
We've got a Safari Adventure to Attend!
A look back at our 1st Annual Steampunk Safari!
Our Itinerary for The Day:
The Gaslamp Society presents
a "Gaslamp Gathering" Steampunk Safari
A Social Gathering of Like Minded Folks
In previous gatherings we've met at Mia Cuppa Cafe and so we shall again for our next Quarterly Gathering later this year, but to ring in the New Year with a bit of pomp and circumstance and more than enough adventure for us all to go around we've decided to formally invite each and every wonderful member of our esteemed Gaslamp Society out and about in Safari wear to The Fresno Chaffee Zoo!
The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is Located:
894 West Belmont Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728
Price of Admission:
Fresno Chaffee Zoo Members: FREE
Adult (ages 12 - 61): $7.00
Children (ages 2 - 11) & Seniors (62+): $3.50
Children (1 year and under): FREE
***For those driving, Roeding Park charges $5.00 per Vehicle for Admission.***
Zoo Chats from 1:30pm-4pm
1:30p.m. - Shark (Stingray Bay)
2:00p.m. - Giraffe (across from tiger)
2:00p.m. - Flamingo (front of flamingo habitat)
2:30p.m. - Tiger (tiger habitat)
3:00p.m. - Sea Lion (Sea Lion Cove)
Looking to Explore like a Steampunk Adventurist? You'll need a Map!
Let's go for our first Adventure in 2015 and shake off the holidays with Show and Tell while Touring The Zoo with Plenty of Social Opportunities!
Bring your Calling Cards or Flyers to Share!
*ALL AGES* - however, minors must stay with Gaslamp Society Members at all times while touring the Zoo.
Come one come all - Steampunks, Gaslight Goths, Neo-Victorians, Makers, and Alternate History fans!
Costuming is Encouraged, though not required for Joining in the Fun!
The Gaslamp Society
Food is quite a luxurious variety from sweets and treats to picnic meals along with dietary options for vegetarians, vegans and for those that are gluten free. Reasonable price's ranging from $5-$7 for a delectable meal to replenish your energy during our exotic Steampunk Safari.
We'll meet at The Gate at 12pm, Pay Admission and thus the Adventure Begins! See you then Safari Hunters.
A History of "White Hunters" and The Golden Age of Safari
The ’70s were an overdue period of environmental consciousness-raising throughout the Western world, and to most Americans and Europeans the edict from Kenya was welcome. But the news from Africa is rarely as clear-cut as it first appears. As Brian Herne argues in “White Hunters,” the real threat to Kenyan wildlife lay in poaching, which was widespread, indiscriminate and often conducted with the help of corrupt Kenyan game officials. The conservation-minded big game hunters were an easy target, though, and the hunting ban, still in place, abruptly ended a colorful if somewhat blood-spattered period of East African history.
The demise of big game hunting in Kenya — and in the Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zaire — occupies the final chapters of Herne’s book, but it’s a shame he didn’t make it his primary subject. Herne, a second-generation Kenyan and himself a professional or “white” hunter (so called because virtually all of them were of European descent) for 30 years, might have injected his tale with a host of compelling post-Colonial story lines and told it from the perspective of an active participant — but he does not. Instead he offers an exhaustive social history of the professional (and largely Anglo) hunting fraternity, from its Victorian beginnings to its heyday in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Vivid tales of cunning, bravery and foolhardiness abound, but Herne, apparently intent on historical completeness, goes on burnishing the legend long after it has achieved peak elegiac glow. Of the book’s 49 chapters, it’s the final two, with an accompanying epilogue, that resonate most deeply.
Still, many of Herne’s anecdotes of life on safari stalking the Big Five — lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant — are spellbinding, as when 1960s-era white hunter Ian MacDonald confronts a wounded leopard:
The big cat immediately went for Ian’s throat … He swore and cussed and attacked the growling cat with his bare hands, grabbing it by the throat as [the leopard’s] jaws locked on his forearm … Somehow he got the cat in an armlock stranglehold, hoping to choke it, but the cat went berserk and broke free, sinking its fangs into Ian’s arm … As the battle raged, Ian punched the leopard and the two thrashed about in a bloody melee. A shredded dew claw from Ian’s first shotgun blast … hooked into the white of MacDonald’s left eye …
And so forth. MacDonald’s Masai tracker eventually rushed in to dispatch the cat with a machete blow to the back; the hunter, stitched up in a Nairobi hospital, was back in the bush in less than a month.
Herne isn’t the least bit interested in analyzing his bwanas’ sense of entitlement. He prefers to pepper his tales of bloody derring-do with amusing stories of the rich and famous on safari, notably their sexual entanglements: “Even when [Edward, Prince of Wales] was on safari his attention was easily diverted by female company. At Dodoma … the prince disappeared into the night with the wife of a junior official, then turned up several hours late for a formal dinner.”
Aside from occasional nuggets, though — such as Queen Victoria’s bestowing Mount Kilimanjaro upon Kaiser Wilhelm for his birthday, the 1920s practice of treating the dreaded blackwater fever with massive ingestions of champagne, white hunters’ role in the bloody Mau Mau uprisings of the 1950s — the profiles that make up the vast midsection of Herne’s book follow a predictable pattern: A notable white hunter is introduced and his various qualities listed; he goes on safari with a rich or famous client, who inevitably botches the kill; the quarry flees into a thicket, with the white hunter hot on its tracks; the beast, wounded and royally pissed off, launches a surprise counterattack and proceeds to maul, horn, tusk, eviscerate or otherwise distress the hunter, who desires only to put it out of its misery. Most of these encounters end with the survival of the hunter. A few, in spectacularly gruesome fashion, do not.
Herne traces the history of the hunters’ conservation efforts, making a strong case at the close for the return of hunter-influenced game management in East Africa, where over the past three decades poachers armed with military assault rifles have decimated the game population. “The simple uncontrovertible fact is that in countries with a per capita income of a few hundred dollars a year, there is little hope for the rhinoceros when the current price fetched by its horn is more than $30,000 per pound,” Herne concludes. Of East Africa and the golden age of safaris, he asks, “Paradise lost? Perhaps.” After the final chapters of “White Hunters,” though, that “perhaps” seems like a vastly over-optimistic answer.