Opening at 14:00 SLT on Saturday, January 10th is a new series of three regions aimed at encouraging Second Life users to consider the natural world around us and the wildlife that inhabits it.
Makeahla Jungle covers three homestead regions, provided by Makeahla alongside of her private home, all of which offer a semi-tropical environment with sandy ground, high rocky plateaus, deep gorges and a mix of tropical and more temperate trees, in which can be found a wide range of wildlife: elephants, hippos, monkeys, crocodiles, orang-utans, lions, giraffe, black rhinos… and more, all to be discovered and explored.
The regions have been landscaped by Mz Marville, who IM’d me about them and offered to give me a preview tour, which I was delighted to accept. There is no overall “theme” or intent within the jungle in terms of visitor activity, other than – as noted, to get people thinking about the natural world. so where you wander after your arrival is entirely up to you – there are some spots available for sitting and cuddling; but mostly this is a place for exploring and photography.
While there is no over-arching aim to the regions, there is something of a mini-theme evident in the arrival region – Makeahla East, which is dedicated to the northern white rhino, ceratotherium simum cottoni, a species of rhinoceros which is to all intents and purposes now extinct, there being only 5 left in the world. While all are kept in captivity or under protection from hunters, it is unlikely they will successfully breed, even with artificial assistance, due to a combination of age and health issues.
“When Makeahla Commisioned me to do this series of sims, the first thing I thought was to dedicate one of them to preserving the memory of these white rhinos,” Mz Marville, told me as she guided me around the regions. That should a thought would come to her will be no surprise to anyone who knows her – conservation is very much at the centre of her thoughts, hence her involvement in projects such as the Matoluta Sanctuary, which I first visited in July 2014.
The crisis for the northern white rhino was brought to a head in 2014, when in September 34-year-old male Suni died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, which provides a protected haven for rhinos against ivory poachers. Then, in December, Angalifu, a 44-year-old male died at San Diego Zoo. Nor is the northern white rhino entirely alone; It is estimated that the Javan rhino may number fewer than 60, and the number of black rhino has fallen to around 4,000 world-wide.
To help commemorate the species, the plan is to have a number of people present at the opening dressed in rhino avatars created by Rosie Dimanovic, who will be the special guest for the event, and also in the rhino avatar. “I have a flyer being made about the rhinos,” Mz Marville explained, “it will go into a note card for visitors.”
Those attending the opening are not required to wear animal avatars – although if they wish to, there will be no objections, and Rosie’s store might be a good place to start when looking for something appropriate. Unlikely Matoluta Sanctuary, there will be no formalised role-play within these regions, although I understand from Mz Marville that any spontaneous free-form RP that occurs while not be frowned upon.
For the photographer, there is much to offer within the regions, which avail themselves to a wide range of windlight settings. Rezzing was open during my preview tour – although whether this remains the case for the opening or beyond is unclear; if it does remain open, please make sure you pick up any props after you. I also understand that there are no plans to offer any form of group membership for rezzing rights, as Makeahla would like to simply encourage anyone interested to visit and explore.
- Makeahla Jungle SLurl (Rated: Moderate)