Brother Nature Provides Adorable Wild Animal Encounters for All — No Vacation Necessary
While many of us have had to cancel trips, rearrange plans and change our day-to-day lives due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are still corners of the Internet that animal lovers can escape to for a bit of relaxation and happiness.
Two of those virtual places are Brother Nature's Twitter and Instagram page. Run by Kelvin Peña, a 22-year-old living in Los Angeles who is also the titular Brother Nature, the accounts are filled with Peña's amazing wild animal encounters.
But the popular social media accounts, which has over 4 million followers, didn't start with shots of penguins and rhinos. Instead, Brother Nature was born because of a deer. In 2016, after graduating from high school in Texas and moving to Pennsylvania for college, Peña spotted a deer up-close in his cousin's backyard and then a buck in the driveway of his father's house on the same day.
These peaceful and awe-inspiring deer sightings in Pennsylvania were some of Peña's first interactions with wild animals, and some of the first posts on Brother Nature. After filming the deer, posting the videos to his own social media pages, and witnessing the quick and enthusiastic response to the clips, Peña was inspired to create Brother Nature so there could be a place online where engaging animal encounters would be available to all.
"I truly felt like I had a connection to the animals and that I could be the voice for wild animals for people who don't know much about wildlife," Peña told PEOPLE about the mission behind Brother Nature. "It's for those who have always admired wildlife from a distance. It makes animals cool, so people can really admire them and see them in a new light."
Through Brother Nature, Peña's feelings on animals have changed too. Before the accounts, most of his interactions with wildlife were restricted to nature documentaries, but now, thanks to the success of Brother Nature, Peña has enjoyed numerous opportunities to meet and help wild animals all over the world, including the chance to assist in the relocation of wild giraffes to safer territory in Uganda.
These experiences have allowed Peña to provided his followers with firsthand knowledge about the problems that plague the world's wildlife and how humans can help conserve and protect these precious species.
"We need to respect nature and respect the planet that we're on," Peña said of what he hopes people take away from Brother Nature. "It's obvious the world needs a bit more love."
For now, due to the pandemic, the international trips to meet more wild animals have temporarily stopped, but Brother Nature is still full of adorable animal videos and engaging information on how to help all the world's creatures.
Peña, Brother Nature himself, is using this time to bond with his French bulldog at home, and to plan for what animals he wants to meet next.
"I think it's time to dive into the ocean a bit," Peña said, putting whale sharks at the top of the list.