Lianne Thompson - Zookeeper, Assiniboine Park Zoo
My interest in nature began at a young age and has prevailed throughout my life. From hiking mountains to exploring grasslands, I’ve enjoyed connecting with the environment and learning how wildlife and the environment has changed over time. I have always dreamt of travelling the world to aid in wildlife conservation and education, luckily I have been able to start living this dream. While completing my Undergraduate Degree in Zoology at the University of Guelph, I participated in a field course in Costa Rica where we examined Neotropical terrestrial and marine ecosystems and learned of the conservation efforts aimed at protecting local biodiversity. I am currently studying for my Masters degree from Miami University where I have been able to visit Baja California, Mexico on another field course exploring the diversity of desert and marine landscapes. Up next for me is another field course to Kenya this summer! In between field courses, I mainly fulfill my travel addiction with camping and hiking in the various national and provincial parks in Canada and the US - still TONS more for me to visit.
Through my travels and schooling, I have been able to connect with people all over the world who share my passion for environmental preservation. My main interest revolves around human-wildlife coexistence and how we can strive to live more sustainably on this earth with the animals around us. I believe that travel is one way that we interact with wildlife - whether hiking in a forest, climbing a mountain, visiting a zoo or going on a safari tour, our actions can have profound impacts on the environmnet and the animals that live there.
My plan for this website was to create a place where people can look up facilities and experiences in locations that they wanted to visit to find one that suited their needs. I wanted to allow anyone to contribute to this growing database by submitting reviews of places they have been. Following a submission I search for news articles, research papers and websites to find out as much information on a place/experience as I can to get a well-rounded view. From there I will post a review incorporating information from the submitter as well as from my research. Both positive and negative reviews will be given so make sure you read each post to know if its somewhere you want to spend your time and money.
Keep travelling friends!
Lindsey Bell – Tour bus driver/tour guide – Great White Bear tours
Having spent my childhood growing up at the family cottage in a provincial park, a love and passion for wildlife began at a very young age. This passion has remained with me into adulthood, and has helped to shape my career choices. When at home I fulfilled my love of wildlife by working at a local zoo and volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, here I participated in not only the daily care for the animals, but largely in education and conservation initiatives.
My work experience at home then allowed me to travel to South Africa and work at a wildlife rehab facility where I learned about their native species and was able to participate in their care and release. After this trip, I was hooked on travelling and immediately began planning more trips that allowed me to explore the natural world and work towards protecting wildlife. However, it was working at a black rhino breeding program in Zimbabwe, that finally solidified my desire to promote sustainable living and travel, emphasizing animal welfare and conservation. Since then I have continued to travel and volunteer across Africa and Central America, and strive to find the most ethical wildlife tourism opportunities.
Currently, I am working in Churchill, Manitoba - also known as the ‘polar bear capital of the world’, as a tour bus driver and tour guide. My job allows me to actively participate in positive forms of wildlife tourism by educating people on how to responsibly interact with wild animals while creating once in a lifetime wildlife experiences. Beyond work, I am continuing to expand my education as I work on a travel counsellor course with the end goal of being able to combine my wealth of travel knowledge, with my passion for animal welfare and conservation to help people make the right decisions when it comes to responsible wildlife tourism.
Sarah Makenbach Giersch
Daniel Raiti (Instagram = @vivid.arctic.photography)