I grew up next to a national park in a household where we were big fans of Farley Mowat and Gerald Durrell (the title of this blog post refers to one of Mr. Durrell's books, My Family and Other Animals). Animals were another part of the family. We recycled before it was popular, ate organic, had fruit trees in our backyard, and about a zillion rescue animals as pets.
My family still preserves this ethos of conservation. My mom is a staunch supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, still has a zillion rescue animals as pets, and my sister has not only spent hundreds of hours volunteering at her local zoo, but also spent an eight-month gig in the wilds of Madagascar studying lemurs.
So it was great to be able to chat with Jim Knox, the curator of education for Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo. He is a strong advocate for endangered animals, and works tirelessly to help conservation initiatives.
I first met Jim through my writer's group, the Fairfield Scribes. He is currently working on a motivational-themed book incorporating decades of his experiences working with wild animals. Jim has given thousands of presentations, appeared on numerous TV shows, including hosting PBS's Wildzoofari, and has written both for PBS and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
I don't know how he is able to do all he does, but you would never know all the demands on his time from chatting with him. He's very laid back and was infinitely patient with my three girls, who were going out of their minds with excitement over the animals at the zoo.
It's great that we have people like Jim who are at the forefront of conservationism, working hard to help preserve our beautiful and endangered animals. If you'd like to hear Jim in person, you're in luck – he's scheduled to do a TEDx talk on October 5th in Danbury. Space is limited, though, and there's been a ton of interest in it, so it's suggested you make a reservation to save your seat (see flyer below).
I hope to have another post up soon about what Jim's working on, and more opportunities to see him talking live – so watch this space!
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over a hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. If the Walking Dead isn't on, I draw pictures and do origami meditation in Alberta, where I live with my family. If the Walking Dead is on... shhhh! The Walking Dead is on! For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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