National Geographic’s Dr. Gabby Wild
Who is she and why we all need to help?
In life, we come across certain people who have a profound effect on us. Through my travels around the world, I have been fortunate to meet many people working outside themselves to make this planet a better place to live. Some people we may never meet but through one form or another we share a passion for this planet that brings us together. One of those people to me is Dr. Gabby Wild. I recently conducted a podcast interview (also available on YouTube) with Dr. Gabby Wild. After coming across her work online, I really wanted to get her story out there. She is one of earth’s heroes who talks the talk and walks the walk. I found her and her work with the Gabby Wild Foundation to be incredibly interesting and important. So important, I decided to make her foundation a recipient of a portion of my photography sales of african wildlife and nature. Her foundation’s mission is to implement veterinary medicine, conservation methodologies and educational campaigns in protection of the world’s most endangered animals. You would be hard pressed to find a better organization to support or a better cause.
Wild Vet Adventures
Having been inspired by animals as a child, Dr. Gabby Wild is now herself a National Geographic Kids educator and author. She shines in her role as “the veterinarian” on National Geographic Kid’s Animal Jam. Animal Jam is the world’s largest online playground with over 54 million players. You can find segments of her expertise on her YouTube channel where her passion for wildlife comes through in short digestible clips. Inside National Geographic Kids Wild Vet Adventures, Dr. Gabby Wild takes you on a trip around the world educating us about wildlife. She relives some of her most intense moments working with wild animals as well as what goes into caring for them. You will learn about some of the geographical features on each continent along with the special relationships that exist between wildlife and people. This book explains some of the challenges particular animals face and what people are doing to take on some of these challenges. When I first purchased the book to begin my research for our conversation, I figured it would be a cute childrens book. It definitely is. But it is also full of fascinating information for people of all ages. While turning the pages you will find: a brief paragraph introducing the animal featured, information about its habitat, diet and dangers it faces, and an exam time section going deeper into interesting facts about the animal.
The Gabby Wild Foundation
The foundation has a 4 pronged approach to extinction diversion. 1) to help replant the Sumatran Rainforest. 2) act as the eyes and ears against poaching and other illegal wildlife activities. 3) Dr. Wild travels globally by request to provide high quality, gratis veterinary medicine, surgery, anaesthesia, tranquillisation/immobilisation, and imaging to wildlife animal rescues, NGOs and National Parks in need. 4) Bring public awareness to all issues involving wildlife and conservation, including sustainable eco-friendly fashion.
The way I find easiest to support organizations like the Gabby Wild Foundation is to have my photography sales benefit their cause. I will be donating 15% of all my profits from my photography work from Africa to the Gabby Wild Foundation. My hope is other businesses will follow my example. Below are a few examples of the current work going to support the Gabby Wild Foundation.
Sustainable Eco-Friendly Fashion
Dr. Gabby Wild has a passion for being an advocate for sustainable eco-friendly fashion. During our interview we covered how important it is to purchase from more environmentally conscious companies instead of supporting throw-away fashion. We talked about how it’s not only about the materials used to make the clothes but were the people who made it paid a fair living wage? Were dyes used or chemicals to make it and if so were they properly disposed or were they dumped into the environment? If animals were involved in the making of the clothing, were they treated well? These are all questions we should be asking ourselves when purchasing fashion products.
“Around 85% of all textiles thrown away in the US – roughly 13 million tonnes in 2017 – are either dumped into landfill or burned. The average American has been estimated to throw away around 37kg of clothes every year. And globally, an estimated 92 million tonnes of textiles waste is created each year and the equivalent to a rubbish truck full of clothes ends up on landfill sites every second. By 2030, we are expected as a whole to be discarding more than 134 million tonnes of textiles a year.” BBCNEWS.
12 Outfits in 12 Months for 12 Animals. Together with Project Runway fashion designers, Gabby wore one sustainably crafted outfit for an entire month representing the threatened animal of the month she was saving. This is exactly the kind of inspirational action I was moved by. When people truly believe in their causes they lead by example. They just don’t talk about what is necessary for change, they show us how to change.
Why we need to help
As she says on her website “Even mother nature has a doctor.” This comes at a price. It is expensive to care for our planet’s wild animals. Her not-for-profit organization uses donations to help save animals in need. Our donations help cover travel costs, medical supplies and so much more. I strongly encourage you to dive into her story. Like me, you will soon find yourself compelled to help in one way or another. You can support her foundation through my photography work or you can donate directly to the foundation through the foundation website.