Conservation. It may be one of the most depressing fields to work in right now. The hurdles to overcome are enormous, the stakes higher than any time in human history. So why would anyone choose a career trying to protect wildlife and wild places?” So begins Wild Lives: Leading Conservationists on the Animals and the Planet They Love, a new book by Lori Robinson and Janie Chodosh. To answer this question, the authors interviewed nearly two dozen notable conservationists from around the world about their work and what drives them to keep going.
Laurie Marker, 63, founder and executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund
Marker moved to Namibia in 1990 to study the wild cats and develop a permanent research center there. “I raised many different animals including guanacos, monkeys, boas, goats, and lions,” she says. “Then I met a cheetah cub named Khayam and I was allowed to care for her. One look into her deep amber eyes and I was in love.”