In a world a mess and full of so much anger and hostility, we must remember those who do things worth our admiration and respect. Superheroes do exist and persist under the radar to avoid scrutiny of those who possess control over the system. They walk among us and either are at work or have the makings of being a hero when the moment comes. Gabby Wild is one of these people who works with many others in a common effort to protect wildlife all over the world. She is your classic animal activist who has worked in Thailand with elephants and studied baboons in Africa. After spending one season in Alaska tending sled dogs of the Iditarod, she traveled to Ireland to work with horses.
What’s an animal activist at the end of 2012 to do? Gabby Wild, who’s real name is Gabriela Wagner, graduated from Cornell University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Animal Science and is now working on her veterinary medicine degree. While in college Gabby put together the “12 in 12 for 12,” coming out with her new sustainable fashion design with at least 25 other people in which a threatened specie would be featured each month. Launched while still at Cornell University with “Project Runway” alumni, professional designers and Cornell’s Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, the fashion line hopes to raise $10,000 a month to work for the protection of each month’s featured animal. Nine of her dresses were made by designers from “Project Runway” and then featured by Luis Valenzuela in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s TheGreenShows. Each dress has a story and they can be found on her website. She’s worn 12 so far this year for each month. “Four charities are receiving all of the funds that we receive from private donations that we recieve,” said Gabby. “These include Ya’axche Conservation Trust in Belize, the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE of Existence Programme, the Kakapo Recovery in New Zealand, and the Red Wolf Coalition here in the United States. These are the organizations that are working directly with the animals that we are hosting the campaign for.”
Wagner founded the 501(c)(3), The Gabby Wild Foundation, Inc. to help promote animal conservation through fundraising and awareness campaigns, which may include future trips around the world. Prior to the foundation, Gabby funded her own trips doing some pretty gnarly things on a few different continents.
“I’m not the voice for the animals, as some can really be quite loud. Rather I’m just their interpreter, translating their messages into human tongue.”
A winner of the Coca-Cola scholarship for college tuition, Gabby has succeeded at making moves that have allowed her to achieve some pretty impressive feats.
“And with the “why?” question! Because I had to! It pains me greatly to hear of the circumstances of our planet, and thus her animals, are currently placed in. Rather than weep over spilled milk, I do what I do to clean up the spill and refill the glass. The big kicker to officially form the charity were the startling statistics that 1/4th of all mammals, 1/8th of all birds, and 1/2 of all amphibians are at risk of extinction (i.e. we are within or closely approaching the 6th Mass Extinction, which has largely been affected by humans).”
Gabby developed her love for wildlife in her backyard at the age of 4 and began working with Ada Cole Rescue Stables in Essex, English. There she rehabilitated abused horses and other farm animals followed by time with Asian elephants a year later. Staying busy and preparing for the end of her campaign, Gabby is a strong example to how many other people could work together within their community to pool resources and lead to the kind of change worthy of a world that has given so much all the while we take every last available resource for our consumption.
To contact or learn more about Gabby Wild, visit the links below:
Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheGabbyWild
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gabby-Wild/200877039959729