Santa Martha - Ecuador
In 2008, Fiona represented the Conlon Wildlife Foundation volunteering at Santa Martha Rescue Centre (Hacienda Sta Martha) located near Quito, Ecuador.
The Cordova family, Johnny and Brenda, established this sanctuary after rescuing wild animals being kept in captivity. The conditions in which these animals were being held could only be described as horrendous. Realizing that there was no where for these animals to go they took them home, hence the family dairy farm became a sanctuary for victims of the animal trafficking trade.
Fiona volunteered under the watchful eye of the ever resourceful Dalma, who manages the sanctuary with amazing efficiency. Volunteering here offered a unique opportunity to care for a great range of wild animals that included lions, puma, jaguar, monkeys, bears, reptiles, parrots, and many more. The Cordova family are pioneers in this area, as facilities of this kind are almost non existent in South America. In order to ensure the sanctury's survival, these valiant efforts need to be not only recognised but supported.
Botswana - Africa
Northern Botswana has more elephants than any region of similar size on this planet. Increasing elephant and human populations, diminishing elephant habitats and the resultant encroachment on each others living space has lead to more human elephant conflict. The management of this conflict is a major issue in elephant conservation. In 1999 Doug & Sandi Groves established the living with elephants foundation (LWE). This foundation undertakes research and educational projects which benefit both elephants and people living within their range. The husband and wife team Doug and Sandi Groves, adopted Jabu, Thembi and Morula when culling operations in South Africa and Zimbabwe left them as orphans.
LWE encourages a positive perception of elephants by developing a greater understanding and appreciation of the African elephant; providing both local and international visitors with the opportunity to spend time with our trio of elephant ambassadors. By exposing visitors to Jabu, Thembi and Morula and giving them the chance to get to know our elephants as individuals, as a species, as an important part of the African ecosystem and the economy of Botswana, we hope to foster an appreciation and affection of elephants.