Dr. Gabriella Fazio, an Italian veterinary doctor, attended in 2011 the advanced training course in “Management and enhancement of wildlife in a controlled environment: conservation, welfare, education”.
In 2013 she obtained the Master “Ensuring a future for wild fauna: for an integrated conservation”, at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Padua in Italy, with the thesis “Elephant welfare index: pilot study on manipulated normal behaviors and on stereotypies in 14 subjects of Loxodonta africana held in three different controlled environments “.
Between 2013 and 2014 she went several times to South Africa, both within private reserves and at the National Zoological Gardens of Pretoria, participating in research projects aimed at studying welfare in African elephants kept in a controlled environment. In 2018 she participated in the Elephant Management course organized by the American Association of Zoos and Acquariums in West Virginia.
Always passionate about the protection and conservation of African biodiversity but not only, lightens her days also dedicating to the Caribbean dances and good food.
My week spent on Gondwana Game Reserve with Conservation Global was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I was fortunate enough to travel to South Africa with Franklin University Switzerland on academic travel in the spring of 2015. Bonding with the staff and learning about the animals in their natural environment made for one incredible week. Each day was filled with activities and lectures that were as entertaining as they were educational. As a group we had a lecture in the morning either from a member of the knowledge staff or from a local expert. We learned about native bee populations and were treated to honey samples from the region and were given a demonstration on the practice of tagging and tracking animals on the reserve. Perhaps the most memorable was when we were taught how to properly handle a tranquilizer gun and had a competition to see who could get a bullseye! After the morning lecture, the group would split up for the safari in which the staff took great care to make sure we saw as many animals as possible. Later in the afternoon we would regroup for a drink and to admire the scenery. I have the utmost respect for Conservation Global and the work they are doing—hoping to return to South Africa soon!
Conservation Global organized a dually educational and adventurous experience across South Africa. As a student I was able to learn more about apartheid and its effects on the nation from prominent political leaders. Also, I was able to better understand the needs and efforts of conservationists across the area to protect some of the worlds most endangered animals. From finding dolphins in the Indian Ocean, cage diving with great whites, and spotting lions on the game reserve, this experience reestablished the necessity in myself to protect our wild lands across the globe. If we do not protect them, who will?