The lovely Ute Wegmann, the fantastical photographer from Wild Whiskers and Tender Tales, the fantastic wildlife conservation and rescue book that i recently reviewed and gaveaway a copy of, has answered a few questions for me!
Thank you ever so much Ute and I hope you all love this fantastic Q&A! (It's got some awesome wildlife pictures to go along with it, too!)
*What made you want to help animals?
I grew up in a culture (Germany) where animal liberation was a lot more powerful than it was here in Australia at the time. My wish to help animals developed naturally. In addition, I have a caring nature, so of course that makes me want to help not just animals but humans, too. I think that was also the case for Dr Tony Helman, who wrote the text for Wild Whiskers and Tender Tales.
*What is one of the founding reasons you decided to compile the book, Wild Whiskers and Tender Tales?
I nursed a rainbow lorikeet back to health (with the help of a bird specialist), which was injured by a car and released it where I had found it. Since (most) parrots pair up for life, I was really hoping it would find its partner again. It felt good to know that I had saved its life and I realised that this must be one of the main reasons why other people rescue wildlife. No one really gives these wonderful people much recognition, so I thought here is an opportunity to do just that and at the same time draw attention to the whole issue of wildlife rescue and conservation.
*What is your deepest wish it (Wild Whiskers and Tender Tales) will do to the world?
Encourage other people to support and help wildlife and animals in general.
*Why do you love the world's animals?
We evolved from animals - I feel connected to them. Just look into the eyes of a orangutan (not that I do that very often!) or a dog and I am sure that you know what I mean.
*Do you have a favourite creature?
Yep - it's a pig(let)! They make me smile. Don't you think Babe is a lot cuter and smarter than Lassie or Skippy???
*Is there a most inspiring story of wildlife carer and animal you heard?
Yes, I was most impressed by the whole aboriginal community in Mapoon (not just one particular carer) in Far North Queensland which decided to rescue sea turtles instead of eating them! They support a turtle conservation centre and train their own rangers to help them. If you want to know more about it, read my book!
*Were there times you believed Wild Whiskers and Tender Tales would be pointless, futile?
*Overall, what do you think it has accomplished as a point of getting people to understand their actions and work on helping animals and living more wisely?
Wild Whiskers and Tender Tales has just been released, so I don't know yet. I hope it will make people think more about these issues.
*For aspiring nature workers, carers, what ideas can you give to getting a job working with animals in need of care?
I think being a volunteer in a wildlife centre is a good start since it's not just about caring for cute animals. It can be challenging having to deal with injured animals and it's heartbreaking when one of them dies. You have to find out first if you are able to deal with that. If so - the better educated you are in this field, the more effectively you can help wildlife. Do a proper course and/or degree, and think of your own future, too.
Thank you again Ute!