We first met Hayley and John when Hayley was doing background analysis for a kids’s e-book on pangolins (that’s set to be launched in the summertime of 2024). In just a few Google searches about pangolins, Hayley occurred upon our weblog publish – Pioneering Pangolins, and instantly received in contact. Quick ahead a mere 3 months, Hayley was along with our crew on the bottom in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa collaborating in one among our biannual Conservation Expertise Journeys! And the most effective half? She received to see a pangolin in actual life! Hayley recounts, “Seeing a pangolin and assembly with the professionals who take care of them supplied me with invaluable info for my analysis. I realized a lot—so many new and growing information about pangolins I by no means would have found in a e-book or on-line.” 

Hayley’s two-week volunteer journey with Wild Tomorrow final 12 months, which was her first time visiting Africa, left an eternal affect on her: “Seeing these big, magnificent creatures [elephants] dwelling within the wild was extra highly effective than I may ever have imagined. A lot so, it introduced me to tears. I had no concept the profound affect that second would have on me and I’ll always remember it… I by no means felt I knew my place within the grand scheme of issues till I skilled Africa. From ringing birds for conservation analysis, to the dehorning of rhinos, serving to out on the rhino orphanage…after which having the possibility to observe together with a pangolin—an precise, real-live pangolin—was all so surreal. I’ll treasure these moments for the remainder of my life.”

Hayley and John’s particular person interactions with wildlife have actually impacted their lives, wishes, and actions to be a part of optimistic change for our planet. John shares that the traumatic expertise of his house being burglarized again in 2015 left him feeling understandably shaken. However the next day, as he accompanied a good friend to a ranch within the Santa Monica mountains, he met Stanley, an 18-foot tall, reticulated giraffe. After climbing the tower subsequent to Stanley’s paddock, cautiously standing nonetheless because the giraffe wandered in direction of him, what occurred subsequent left a profound affect on John: “All of the sudden he rested his huge, and highly effective, head on my shoulder. I can’t clarify the sense of calm that came visiting me. For ten minutes I stood there as he nuzzled my neck as if he knew I wanted some consoling. It was an unimaginable expertise that I’ll always remember.”  

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