THE LIONS OF FUKUSHIMA, TOHOKU SAFARI PARK: TRIP TO SENDAI, SITE OF JAPAN EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI DISASTER.


japan tokyo sendai miyagi earthquake tsunami la carmina lacarmina zoo fukushima prefecture nihonmatsu japanese drifting car racing car racers travel tv host hosting channel discovery national geographic fuel television traveling animals tigers zoos, LION, THE LIONS OF FUKUSHIMA ZOO: TRIP TO SENDAI, SITE OF JAPAN EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI DISASTER. JAPANESE ZOOS ANIMALS.

I went to Fukushima, Japan as part of my recent TV show shoot. It wasn’t my decision. One of the locations happened to be in Sendai.

The half-day experience and lingering impact are hard to sum up. Weird, mixed feelings are ongoing… it doesn’t add up. Such as these lions, which were in the same park.

I posted a new video on YouTube and above, showing the lions caged in Tohoku Safari Park. Take away what you will from it.

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I can’t reveal exactly what went on during the TV shoot, but we were in this location for the racetrack. Hence the revving car noises in the background.

japan tokyo sendai miyagi earthquake tsunami la carmina lacarmina zoo fukushima prefecture nihonmatsu japanese drifting car racing car racers travel tv host hosting channel discovery national geographic fuel television traveling animals tigers zoos, LION, THE LIONS OF FUKUSHIMA ZOO: TRIP TO SENDAI, SITE OF JAPAN EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI DISASTER. JAPANESE ZOOS ANIMALS.

The lions and tigers were in the hardest-hit zone of the earthquake. They all survived. Proud animals, and sad.

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This male lion kept roaring. What do you think he’s trying to tell us?

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Spot the differences between the lioness and my spoiled Scottish Fold, Basil Farrow.

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Without doubt, my cat has more confidence in his eyes.

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In the video, I speak a little about the ethics of having these creatures in cages…

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This was my first sight of Fukushima. The TV crew took the Shinkansen to Koriyama Station, then taxied to Nihonmatsu.

koriyama, tohoku safari park, japan tokyo sendai miyagi earthquake tsunami la carmina lacarmina zoo fukushima prefecture nihonmatsu japanese drifting car racing car racers travel tv host hosting channel discovery national geographic fuel television traveling animals tigers zoos, LION, THE LIONS OF FUKUSHIMA ZOO: TRIP TO SENDAI, SITE OF JAPAN EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI DISASTER. JAPANESE ZOOS ANIMALS.

The city was active — cars in the streets — yet felt empty. Shops were open, but many roofs were in repair.

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To my surprise, the area was gloriously green. The natural beauty of Fukushima isn’t conveyed in the usual media coverage.

japan tokyo sendai miyagi earthquake tsunami la carmina lacarmina zoo fukushima prefecture nihonmatsu japanese drifting car racing car racers travel tv host hosting channel discovery national geographic fuel television traveling animals tigers zoos, LION, THE LIONS OF FUKUSHIMA ZOO: TRIP TO SENDAI, SITE OF JAPAN EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI DISASTER. JAPANESE ZOOS ANIMALS.

Recent health reports of Fukushima children are grim. There’s still much that we don’t know, and Japan has a huge road of recovery ahead. Let’s do what we can to help.

Proceeds from our HOPE t-shirt collection go directly to the Sendai government, to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. There’s more info about the shirts here. And we’re going to launch yet another charity project next week.

Were you surprised, moved, broken by these images of Fukushima? What are your thoughts on the ongoing recovery efforts? Please take a second to view my video of the lions; there’s something poignant in there…

Song of the Day: Bauhaus – Dark Entries

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  • Madelaine

    That must have been very hard for you to go to Fukushima in Japan. :( I feel their pain.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      :(

  • Claine87

    poor lions q – q

  • Nynz

    ): aw. the lions are put in such confined places. thats like putting a human in a 10 by 10 foot room. ): imagine how bored and crazy we’d get after a while.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      Yeah…

  • Johanne

     Makes me very depressed. D:*Dislike :C*They’re wild animals, not paintings to look at D:

  • Tomomi

    a hug cheers! la camina…. great work !! btw, i am going to tokyo again in a beginning of OCT. i am gonna be there at least for 2-3 months. i am designing official T-shirts for this punk band there. wish you are gonna be in japan again while i’m gonna be there.. xoxo

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      Thank you.

  • Chriz

    The east has never really been particularly good at the Zoo thing have they? Very depressing to see. You have my respect for going to Sendai, and your words capture the zeitgeist perfectly. My neighbour’s family is from there, and her parent’s house missed destruction by around 300 yards. Beyond that line however, the scenes were shocking. Had it not been for the retarded British Embassy, I’d have gone there myself before leaving at the end of March. Thank you for sharing hon – the world needs the odd reminder, since the media are so fickle with their attention span these days

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      It’s still hard to process…

  • http://eatsomecherrypie.blogspot.com Paige

    Wow those lions are beautiful.
    I don’t suppose being allergic to domestic cats would make me allergic to big cats? The situation of me being near any are not likely anyway.

    Are there any charities for the earthquake recovery that are more about sending things than money? Something that people can make?

  • Isabelle

    all this is so…. étrange. On aurait envie de croire que tout cela n’est qu’un mauvais rêve… l’herbe est si verte.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      <3

  • http://teknicolordahlia.weebly.com Teknicolor Dahlia

    I don’t mind it so much when they’re in the cages to be fed or looked over by a vet, its for their safety and the safety of the people. A lot of safaris/conservatories only house animals that can’t be reintroduced to the wild for one reason or another, either because of poaching or rescued from illegal exotic breeders, and those I don’t mind so much as long as their living space it large and open so the animals can roam freely. So their remaining lifetime can be as free as possible.

    But it breaks my heart in so many ways to see such beautiful animals locked up in small cages, pacing around and unhappy. I don’t know how they normally live, but I hope this is only temporary because of the disaster.

    That tiger looks so skinny… =/

    The whole image of the zoo though, I think it speaks volumes about the current situation in Tohoku, more than any media coverage could convey.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      It does. The trip left a lasting impression on me.

  • Jeni

    I just watched the video of the lions and Japan, I am in tears for many reasons.  First, the inhumane treatment of the lions is BEYOND what anyone with any sense of decency & true empathy could tolerate. Those amazing creatures have to sit in their little cages, having to hear the constant drone of the racetrack as the soundtrack of their existence, while the life drains from their spirits. Imagine what horror that it must be to live with that- year after year.  Imagine the horror of that earthquake they had to live through, not being able to leave….all the aftershocks….etc. The poisonous radiation can now be their next pitiful chapter in their lives.  This inhumane treatment of the keeping of these animals should be a wake up call for us all. This NEEDS TO STOP.  I don’t care for the excuse that “the children are able to see the lions”…. There are plenty enough documentaries & safari’s that they could see in their lifetimes!  I hope in 100 years, if the planet is still sustaining life, we humans will have evolved to the point where they would look back on the practice of keeping animals in cages, as barbaric and cruel.  The nuclear meltdown is another matter altogether- if the animals are any indication on how the common people in Japan are treated by the politicians in charge of the country-(in regards to the TRUE effect this will have on the whole region-people, farming, water & air quality- and also- the poison in the air and sea swept throughout the planet)  The powers that be are trying to downplay this, but it doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines.  The news media has mostly stopped reporting this in the US, but lest we forget that the Fukushima nuclear plant is STILL dumping cancer causing nuclear waste into the sea and air every day, with still no end in sight.  I am outraged, but feel so helpless about it all.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      Big hug… the world is in chaos, isn’t it? :(

  • Rene

    Those are temporary enclosures for the lions. They have grassy areas to run and relax in (though admittedly they are not the greatest looking like ‘natural habitat’), but because of the earthquake and tsunami, they have probably all been moved into the cages for safety reasons.
    As for Sendai itself, some of my coworkers are from that area originally (we are in Kanto area now) and the line between the earthquake/tsunami damage is very severe. They said ‘like stepping from Heaven into Hell’. Because the earthquake happened off-shore, thankfully there was not as much earthquake damage as there would have been (if it had happened on land). Most of the major damage that has been publicized is actually from the Tsunami, and the water only came in a certain distance. So, thankfully, the areas farther from the water were spared, at least to a degree.
    Regarding nuclear energy, to date, we still do not have any other means of power that is as energy efficient, cost efficient, easily gained and managed than this. Until a new way of producing sufficient energy is found (and I hope they do), we will still have to use it.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      Good to hear your thoughts.

    • Merry_prankster 60

      Nuclear energy is NOT efficient, it is NOT cost effective, it is NOT easily gained, it is NOT insurable, it is NOT carbon neutral, it is NOT safe.

  • Grey

    That’s so depressing. Putting lions in such small cages… its wrong!Makes me so sad to watch. D:

  • Tasnim

    thanks for postin about Fukushima, the news hasnt had any coverage over Japans crisis lately &its been on my mind for a while :)

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      Me too.

  • Antonio

    I never visit zoo’s since the last time I was dragged to one a buffalo I saw was about to die from the heat & I ran to get a zookeeper who acted disinterested but said they would notify someone. I sometimes wonder if the buffalo survived, and why it was left standing out in the hot summer sun in 100 degree heat that day. Also I hate to see anything caged. Its a form of torture & once something is tamed humans become responsible for it forever if the animals are to survive. I could say more but I’d better stop now. I don’t have a good opinion of some wellknown so-called animal rescue groups. I only support no-kill shelters.

  • Vao

    That space is so little for those Lions & tigers :C !

  • http://twitter.com/Dravarious Yukiro Dravarious

    lions <3_<

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      White tigers!

      • http://twitter.com/Dravarious Yukiro Dravarious

        Cele-sama!!

  • chiakaiyuki

    I hope thats not a permanent enclosure for the Lions. They are so beautiful, but when I see them surrounded by concrete it I too sad to appreciate their beauty.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      I hope so too…

  • Liv

    Wow.. Makes me rly sad to see that those luvly lions have to live their lives that poorly :( .. Actually made me cry a little ^^’ .. H<3pe ~

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001282482303 Linda Cools

    They are in a small CAGE! poor lions and lionesses!
    That cage they where in is not even big enough for 1 of them.
    They are simply being held prissoners… Behind bars…
    It’s sad, but if they are survivors, i guess they where just trying to help them out a little bit?…
    But it’s still wrong… They need to be able to get outside, those cages are good enough to shelter from the bad weather, other then that they need a playground…
    And was that a little box of water? :s They are being so mistreated!
    They need to go back into the wild… Or at least into more capable hands!
    Someone who can REALLY help them… if you want to http://www.thelionman.com/home.html he's a good man for them, saw him on tv with his serie the lionman! He takes care of lions and tigers…
    Maybe you are able to contact him, maybe even set up a meeting for an intervieuw about the way those poor lions are being kept there! He might be able to take them in and prepare them to get back to the wild!

    It’s just an idea, a proposal.

    CareBear
    xXx

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      Oh wow!

  • Rumur

    Good photos,thank you honey but…I hate to see animals in cages….it makes me sad….='(

  • Amber

    Sad what happened to Fukushima most people have forgot about it all they care about is the 2012 campaign and other things they still need our support in many ways my boyfriend is from Hiroshima.So stuff like this really bothers me when it happens.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      Definitely.

  • Cleo

    poor lions ): what a sad way to live

    • http://www.lacarmina.com/blog lacarmina

      :(