Save The Animals, Save The World – an Interview with conservation enthusiast Ryan Parker
“You don’t have to be David Attenborough or be able to tell the difference between a Crocodile or Alligator to make a difference in conservation”
Ryan Parker has a vision; he wants everyone around the world to join together to help tackle the biggest issues of our time, namely: climate change and the biodiversity crisis. Ryan has a very unique way of spreading his passion for saving animals, which in turn will help save the planet.
Ryan and his dedicated team are currently creating a wildlife documentary about species from across the globe, and you as an individual can help protect them from your very own home.
Ryan’s enthusiasm for the natural world and passion for making a difference are infectious and enlightening; he has similar personality traits as Steve Irwin. There’s no doubt that Ryan will convince many to support him in protecting species from around the world.
“Conservation is without discrimination”
Ryan believes that it does not matter what background you have, what gender you are, or if you have a hidden or physical disability; Everyone has a right to show their passion for nature and work together to protect it.
According to Ryan this can be done, by expressing your own voice and by having a passion for animals. This is enough to make a difference.
Why do you work in conservation?
I love wildlife! I love animals! Being in nature is the best therapy anyone can have. I wake up thinking about animals, thinking about wildlife. Ever since I could remember I just wanted to help animals and work in preserving natural areas. Getting people excited about conservation, and spreading awareness. It’s in my blood.
I wanted to work in conservation before I knew what the term conservation meant. It’s my need, my desire. I have to do it.
What’s the best part of your role in conservation?
I would love to say seeing such beautiful animals and learning something new. But truly the best thing has to be when you see people light up and learn something from you; it gives you a buzz to do more.
What is the worst part?
There are quite a few horrible things I would say, from big game hunters trying to antagonise me, to people you know who are meant to be your friends telling you, ‘You will never make a difference’, or people laughing at you, when really, you’re trying to do some good.
Why are we doing this job? I would love to just stop doing conservation work. I would stop talking about animals and getting people excited about conservation. I’d love to say, hey animals are okay, it’s going to be all right; they don’t need my help. But sadly, they do, they need everyone’s help, every single human on the planet is needed!
What’s the reason for doing this? It’s when I see people squashing ants, crushing spiders, and animals being shot for sport, or used for fashion. Witnessing the acres of forest being cut down, mountains of plastic in the ocean, animals dying of thirst due to global warming. Something needs to change and soon.
There is so much beauty in our world to see, miracles on this planet can bring so much enjoyment, peace and serenity! Yet, there is so much pain and suffering I see every day. I often question myself; can I really do something?
What’s your proudest moment?
Raising money, through doing a run to send funds to conservation projects that aid in protecting Gorillas in the wild. I remember sitting with a Silverback and giving him orange juice, sharing that close moment with him before he was re-located to the wild, was just incredible.
What are the key steps in your conservation career you have taken?
I would say to be open-minded, and question everything that I do and what everyone else does. Find out the reasons behind their actions. Why are poachers in Africa killing animals? Why are they poachers; are they bad people?
Are they living somewhere, with high poverty, disease outbreaks, little food, and no opportunities? Are they struggling to feed their children? Is their only source of income killing animals? Ask, ask, ask, ask, ask! Because then, when you have the answer, we can help. Show those people how much they can benefit from wildlife, nature, conservation, and ecotourism.
Always be open-minded, even if you do not agree with something! Because you can still learn something. Listen to big game hunters and horse racers, and this applies to everything in life. Act like a lawyer, because you can learn, argue, and fight for what is right if you listen; you can’t learn anything while your mouth is moving.
What advice would you give someone wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Make sure it’s something you definitely want to do! It’s hard and comes with little money; there is little support. But once you are certain, never give up! Fight for what is right. Fight for what you love. Make people smile. Make people enjoy the animals you want to save. Show them why they should save them, not just for animal rights and the planet. But why it’s important to them?
Remember it’s not about how many animals you save, or what species you save. It’s about each individual animal you help. Each individual person you help. There is just as much merit in moving a snail out of a cycle path as there is removing a snare from a lion’s neck, or fishing line caught around a shark. It’s not just about the big things you do, but also about the small acts of kindness that people will never know about.
What are your hopes for the future in terms of the climate ecological crisis? What can we do to ensure our planet’s protection?
That people stop fighting each other, and come together, to make a difference. That the effort we are putting in really does make a difference.
That the fight to save the planet is taken seriously and trumps the war for greed and power.
That the beautiful animals that I love are saved, loved by people all around the world and appreciated until the end of time!
Ryan’s understanding of the natural world means he is able to communicate it to the public in an enthusiastic and engaging way. Ryan knows the simple but effective ways in which humans can come together to help protect, save and conserve the many species that roam the planet.
If you feel inspired and want to know more, you can follow Ryan and his team in saving the animals and in turn saving the world.
Author Profile | Ryan Eddowes
Ryan Eddowes is a Qualified Zoologist, Herpetologist, Animal Carer, Climate Change educator and UK Ambassador for Steps Charity Worldwide, a charity that supports everyone with lower limb conditions. Ryan hopes to use his experience and passion for the natural world to promote inclusivity in conservation, as Ryan was born with bilateral clubfoot, a condition that causes mobility issues. He was told working animals would be difficult due to the condition, but yet he just recently celebrated a decade long career in the wildlife industry.
“I truly believe that even if you have a hidden or physical disability and have a passion for the natural world, you can still achieve your dreams and make a difference to our planet”. You can follow Ryan on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.