In 1992 my life was changed forever - I read a book published in the United Kingdom called The Rainforests: A Celebration. The forward of the book was written by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales – Prince Charles. Here are his words paraphrased “Sounds are a clue to the rain forest which is quite literally seething with life. Worldwide rain forests contain over half the species on earth, but the tropical rain forests are being destroyed at a horrifying rate and on a scale that threatens us all. Species of plants are becoming extinct even before their potential benefits are known. When the rain forests go, water and soil are ruined and the prospects for development and productive use of the land disappear. On a world scale the possible effect of climatic stability could affect us all.”
Prince Charles felt that education was key to saving the rainforests.
I was stunned! I had never heard this before. I had already been keeping tropical parrots for a dozen years before I read this book. In those days no one really talked about "saving the rain forest.” Because I am a former school teacher I was immediately compelled to become proactive in this matter. I established Exotics of the Rainforest in August 1992. I began with a few exotic reptiles and my parrots by going to area schools. I also made several television appearances with my little "Zoo on wheels.” I have been keeping and training parrots since 1980. Over the years I acquired more exotic animals - many were re-homed to me since most people are unaware of the extensive needs and diets of exotic animals. These animals origins were not only from South and Central America but from deserts and many other parts of the world.
In 2010 my husband and I traveled to Peru. In 2011 we traveled to Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Panama. In 2012 we made another trip and traveled all over Costa Rica. In 2013 we traveled to Bolivia and Peru – in all locations with few exceptions we stayed in eco-lodges; deep in the rainforests so that we could observe and study the plants and animals in the natural habitat. It was fascinating and educational to actually see the origination point a lot of our animals. The real advantage and beauty is that we have been able to share all this knowledge with our audiences. What we have gained from our several experiences in the rainforests is an even deeper appreciation for the wildlife and while in the rainforests, it was affirmed for us how critically important it is that we continue our daily efforts to save these fragile ecosystems and the animals who make the rainforests their home. This is our passion - to educate as many people as we can in our lifetime and inspire especially young people to become aware and to become activists in the preservation of the rainforests for the benefit of the plants and animals that dwell there.
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