Remembering Alan Rabinowitz

Photo credit: Steve Winter/Panthera

Photo credit: Steve Winter/Panthera

Alan Rabinowitz was a man with a mission in his heart. He knew his calling, and that it was to save and protect the big cats of this world.

He found his life's purpose in the presence of lions, jaguars, tigers and leopards at Bronx Zoo. Even though he stuttered badly in his youth, he knew these animals needed a voice - his voice.

I never met Alan but I'm humbled by the legacy that he started and left behind for us to continue. His energy and dedication were inspiring. 

His autobiography about his time in Belize is one of the most memorable books I have read. His vision of preserving jaguar populations in Central America was far-reaching and he worked relentlessly to establish the Jaguar Corridor that stretches on through South America. 

A founding force of the Panthera organisation, Alan understood humanity and how our relationship with the natural world has the power to change for the better. He knew saving wild cats from hunting and habitat loss is no easy task but committed his life to it anyway.

Alan was a role model I looked up to. He helped me see what we are all capable of achieving when we stay focused on a goal and never give up, no matter what obstacles we face.

In an interview with the New York Times, he once said "it makes me feel whole, knowing that I'm allowing more animals to live in this world." It is now up to each of us to keep walking that path, and remember the courage and conviction he lived by.

As a zoologist, Alan realised that his life belonged with animals and we know our lives do, too. Our Earth is one great wilderness and we need to ensure the survival of its wild inhabitants. 

If Alan can do it, so can we.

Angela Gnyp