From time to time we highlight volunteers who join us to help people saving wildlife, Wonderful Volunteer Wednesday.
“How can I help?”
Like so many, Kalli stepped forward and offered her skills. Unlike many, Kalli continues to help as her busy schedule allows.
Q: Where do you live?
A: Austin, TX
Q: How did you come to love Africa’s wildlife?
A: My mother is and always has been a passionate lover of rhinos! She passed on her overall love of wildlife to me and my sister. For as long as I can remember we have all dreamed of going to Africa to see all the incredible species that make it spectacular.
Q: How did you find out about Nikela?
A: While reading on the legalization of rhino horn I found a blog post on Nikela that clearly laid out the arguments. I then started following them on twitter for news and insight into the multifaceted challenges of saving rhinos and other African species.
Q: What inspired you to volunteer?
A: I am working on a PhD with a focus on human-tiger coexistence in India. I originally started my research journey hoping to study the global illegal wildlife trafficking that is threatening the world’s fragile ecosystems. So to stay connected to the ongoing fight and reality of the wildlife trade I wanted to volunteer with Nikela. Primarily to be part of their mission to make the general public aware of this crisis and help those on the ground battling it.
Q: What is/was your Nikela Volunteer assignment?
A: I add news and engage followers on the Nikela twitter account. I also make sure to send out past Nikela blogs to make sure they continue to shine light! I also started up the Nikela Pinterest account.
Q: Why is saving and protecting our planet’s wildlife and their habitat important to you?
My entire childhood was filled with wildlife – not just pets. I grew up in the country, making friends (at least I thought so) with a huge variety of wild animals. My parents are travelers and we have been to a dozen National Parks; the bears, wolves or moose always being the family highlight! My summers always included ocean time. One of my favorite places to be is free diving 20 feet under the surf—swimming alongside schools of fish, sea turtles and sharks. I want this life to be my children’s inheritance. A life full of mystery, beauty and complexity that humanity cannot replicate. We are down to ~3200 wild tigers. That is unacceptable.
Q: Why do you think it should be important to others?
It’s clear the world in an intricate system where every species has a role and a purpose. The financial and human health reasons to save wildlife are becoming more evident every day; unfortunately this reality often manifests after a species has been lost. We are the species able to look ahead and understand the value of Earth as a shared place, not one dominated by human needs and desires.
Q: Does your volunteer opportunity benefit you in other ways besides feeling good about doing good, if so how?
Finding and sending out important stories, news and strategies for saving Africa’s wildlife through twitter is a form of teaching. And, there is no better way to learn than to teach!
Want to connect with Kalli? @kallidoubleday
Many thanks Kalli. We wish you well with you work.