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Animal Matters - Carnivores & Conservation!

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HealthHarmony Nwk

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This month on Animal Matters Healer, Gabriela Castillo (www.GabrielaCastillo.com) and Christianna Capra (Certified Equine Specialist from EAGALA. Executive Director and Co-Founder - Spring Reins of Hope) are interviewing Dawn Belotti. A little bit about Dawn... As a child I went to the Bronx Zoo every Sunday with my parents. This sparked my love of animals especially wildcats. My mother and I would rescue local injured wildlife and feral cats. I originally wanted to pursue a career in zoology but at that time there was no animal planet and conservation was not as heavily publicized field. When Animal Planet launched it was a new day for the wildlife conservation field. Through this outlet I found out about the situation facing big cats in the states and that there were rescue facilities that took in confiscated or abandoned pets, retired performing animals and zoo surplus. I began contacting these facilities in hopes to spend some time with them learning how to care for these majestic animals whose stories broke my heart. I offered to work for free, travel around the country out of my own pocket and spent the next 15 years volunteering at zoos and rescue facilities learning about the care and behavior of these cats. I sponsor 8 tigers and 1 ocelot at various facilities. My true passion is conservation. I began traveling outside of the US learning about issues facing carnivores in conflict in Africa, Asia and Central America. I documented the Artificial Insemination of their Brazilian ocelots and resulting birth of a kitten . This report covered by Pace University. I returned to school and am pursuing a master degree in Environmental Science. I have also, along with Linda Weldon started a wildcat rescue/rehab eco-tour organization in Cerra Punta Panama.

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