If you’re here on the site and reading this blog you probably already know that we at Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) are on a quest to bring cheetah conservation to the hearts and minds to people everywhere. Dr. Laurie Marker travels the world, speaking to people and sharing her knowledge and expertise from her lifetime mission to save the cheetah in the wild. I worked at CCF in Namibia for five years as the Operations Manager and am now living in the US full time (and very much missing Africa) taking on the role of Director of Conservation and Outreach. This year, CCF was offered the opportunity to participate in the Cheetah Outreach Program at the Columbus Zoo. The exciting program has given me the opportunity to support CCF by doing presentations about the cheetah and the multi-faceted work being done to save them in the wild. During the presentations I am accompanied by a cheetah ambassador and the expert cheetah team from the world-renowned Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Immediately after the Cheetah Outreach Program began, Lori Van Nostrand, Executive Assistant to President & Vice President at Indu & Raj Soin Medical Center, contacted the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium requesting an inspirational talk about “something different” for their hardworking physicians. So, this week, we took the amazing opportunity and delivered something very different.
At the medical center I spoke to a large group of physicians. As I looked around the room I saw the faces of doctors, specialists and surgeons of different nationalities from around the world, all converged at this hospital near Dayton, Ohio who spend their daily lives helping their fellow human beings. The hospital is unique in that its hotel-like setting was designed to promote peace and healing. What better environment to have a talk about holistic conservation and saving one of the world’s most threatened animals?
I was so honored to be able to share with these everyday heroes the work that CCF is doing. One of the reasons I’m personally involved with CCF is because of the holistic approach to conservation. CCF staff are helping to save the cheetah by effectively helping the entire ecosystem of people, land, economy and wildlife in Namibia through their extensive work and programs. You wouldn’t go to a doctor to treat only your foot while neglecting the rest of your body, holistic conservation works the same way. CCF has continued to be successful by looking at the whole health of environment that the cheetahs live in. When you help support CCF those resources help educate children and local farmers, train livestock guarding dogs, rehabilitate injured cheetahs, restore habitats and more. The same way these physicians are equipped with the resources and knowledge to help humans inside and out, the staff at CCF invest in the local people so they can be champions and heroes to save cheetahs.