Big Cat Rescue takes a look at the Big Cat Picture
Big Cat Rescue Founder, Carole Lewis and Director, Jamie Veronica took a look at the Big Cat Picture at the 2nd annual Wildlife Conservation Expo in (Oh So Sunny) Los Altos Hills, California. The Expo which was held on the campus of Foothill College on October 11th & 12th was hosted by the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN).
The Wildlife Conservation Network was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to helping independent conservationists from all across the globe by building awareness for the many projects geared towards saving the world’s mammals. WCN provides back office support—fundraising, marketing, administrative and technical expertise—enabling the conservationists to work more effectively and spend more time in the field. It also provides a common link between ongoing research in the wild and the general public through discussions and workshops at the WildLife Conservation Expo.
The WCN founded the Wildlife Conservation Expo as a way for conservationists to bring their message to enthusiasts as well as to raise awareness and funds for their project. The event brought together 20 Conservationists including the world renowned, Dr. Jane Goodall, 20 Ambassadors for animal welfare organizations, and more than 1,000 wildlife devotees.
The two day Expo was a whirlwind of informative lectures, idea swapping, mountains of literature, photos and film from the field, and an inspirational experience for the world’s next generation of Conservationists. One of the many interesting talks was given by Dr. Olga Uphyrkina from Russia, sharing the plight of the Amurian Leopard as well as the obstacles a small conservation team faces in the start up phase of a project. A common theme among all of the lecturer’s specific projects was lack of awareness, help, land and funding. Several talks were given spanning both days and included presentations from The Snow Leopard Conservancy , Cheetah Conservation Fund, Cheetah Conservation Botswana , Small Cat Conservation Alliance , The Andean Cat Alliance , and The Jane Goodall Institute among others.
The first day of workshops was at the Wildlife Conservation Expo was topped off with an exclusive gala hosted by the WCN, with special guests including Dr. Jane Goodall and Isabella Rosalini. 250 attended the premier event. At each table a Conservationist was seated giving guests a chance to speak one on one and share ideas, concerns, and possible solutions. Carole and Jamie were among those who attended the benefit and were seated at Dr. Jim Sanderson’s table. Dr. Sanderson is the leading authority on the world’s most endangered small cats. He spoke at length about exciting news from the field, of camera traps catching a glimpse into the lives of the wild Andean Mountain Cat. These photos are the first documented of the Andean Mountain Cat and were captured by one of several cameras he has employed throughout South America.
The Wildlife Conservation Expo was a truly eye opening experience exposing the Big Cat Picture. As much as we would love to, here at Big Cat Rescue, we can not leave the sanctuary to go abroad and join the front lines in the battle against extinction. We can however do our small part and educate the public about these animals and the threats that they face. We do this through our tours and outreach programs. We believe that the first step towards saving these wonderful animals is to create caring through understanding. This is only a small step, but a needed one as humans have become more disconnected with nature and our wild neighbors.
– Jamie Veronica, Director