Let's welcome Charlotte Corney, the former CEO of the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary in the Isle of Wight and the founder and trustee of the Wildheart Trust.
Charlotte tells us of what it is like growing up in the Isle of Wight Zoo (now the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary), and how agreeing to hand-raise Zia the Tiger cub committed herself to work with animals. She explains the journey from a zoo to a sanctuary, yet emphasises that throughout the sanctuary's history, each animal's life has always mattered.
“One thing, to this day, remains absolutely unshiftable, and that is that individual life matters to each and everyone of our animals, and never ever were our animals a commodity. The animal's life always comes first”.
Each animal in their care acts as an ambassador animal to promote the conservation and protection of animals. Charlotte gives us an example of SERVIVAL, a campaign to ban the breeding of exotic felids, such as Servals, with domestic cats. These ambassador animals contribute a small part to the human experience at the sanctuary, which overall contributes to promoting a change in thinking through empowerment.
“They come in, they learn a few facts that they may have been able to find out on Wikipedia, then they go home. It is not good enough now. We need people to go home now and do something different, think something differently. Make some difference. It is small steps”
Charlotte concludes by telling us the story of her four hand-raised tiger cubs, and how she and the Isle of Wight said goodbye to her last surviving cub Aysha.
Read about the Wildlife Trust HERE
Listen to our podcast with Dr Jane Goodall HERE
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