TV’s Gabby Wild on inspiring young women in STEM

With her own foundation, Dr Gabby Wild travels the world to promote animal conservation via creative fundraising and awareness campaigns. For the past two years, she’s also presented National Geographic’s Animal Jam series. She was specifically chosen as a young, successful women in the sciences to help motivate young women to stay in STEM.

So how did you start out in veterinarian science?

I actually started working in an Elephant Hospital in Northern Thailand at 16 years old. I still visit that Elephant Hospital but I originally started aged 16, doing training and behavior lessons with the elephants. My father was a doctor, and though I could have gone the same route as him, my experiences with elephants made it clear that I had to pursue veterinarian science.

Gabby still visits the elephant farm where her interests in conversation started.

How did it feel to be approached for National Geographic’s Animal Jam?

At first, it wasn’t what I wanted to pursue. To be honest, I’m not really a big fan of media; I’m passionate about animals, conservation and children. When they pitched me on Animal Jam it took me a while to decide, but ultimately I decided to go for it. If it’s not me teaching these children about science, animals and conservation then someone who may not actually care might be. And now, National Geographic Kids is where my heart is – children are the future of conservation.

“I chose to have an all women film crew.”

What’s your experience of the media industry?

National Geographic let me choose my own team, and so I chose to have an all women film crew. I noticed, just like in veterinarian sciences, men dominate the film industry and I want to take action to try and help level the playing field. I thought having my crew be all women was a good start. Plus, it was one of my awesome crew members that introduced me to Fat Llama… and I fell in love!

Gabby’s research includes zoonotic diseases – those which can spread from animals to humans.

That’s nice to hear! What was it about Fat Llama that got you hooked?

Fat Llama is making a sustainable impact by allowing people to share and try new tools for their work. I am so impressed when I see things like Fat Llama, because it encourages people to engage in sustainability. Fat Llama is another way me and my crew can help make a positive impact in our conservation efforts.

“Fat Llama is another way me and my crew can help make a positive impact in our conservation efforts.”

Tell us more about your interest in conservation.

Animals, people, and the environment are all are intertwined. It is how we manage all of these factors that allow for us to create a beautiful balance for conservation. For example, some of my research is focused on zoonotic diseases – a better understanding of this will allow for us to better understand diseases and how animal health will directly impact us.

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