Dr. Noel Named 2017 Wildlife Warrior by Houston ZooBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 in Blog.
We are pleased to share that our very own Dr. Noel has been named a 2017 Wildlife Warrior by the Houston Zoo! Our Rwanda Field Vet, who has been with Gorilla Doctors since 2009, monitors the health of all of the habituated mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and intervenes to administer treatment to sick or injured gorillas in Rwanda.
“Our team is thrilled that Dr. Noel’s hard work and dedication to gorilla conservation is being recognized on an international platform” said Gorilla Doctors Director Dr. Mike Cranfield. “I am very proud of the outstanding veterinarian he has become and he absolutely deserves this high honor. It is a team effort across three countries that makes the mountain gorilla conservation efforts successful.”
The Houston Zoo created the Wildlife Warriors program in 2015 “to honor the outstanding heroes from developing countries protecting their local wildlife” said Renee Bumpus, Senior Director of the Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Programs. According to the Zoo’s website, “Wildlife Warriors are awarded with an a educational experience (e.g. a training course or exchange to another related conservation project) of their choosing and a $500 donation to their conservation program efforts.”
This year, Wildlife Warrior awards were given to conservation leaders protecting endangered species in many areas of the globe. “They are overcoming all odds to save species from extinction and we want to make sure their efforts are recognized” said Bumpus.
On August 17, Houston Zoo staff, along with Dr. Kirsten Gilardi, Dr. Mike Cranfield and Jess Burbridge video conferenced with Dr. Noel and other Gorilla Doctors Rwanda staff to surprise him with the award. When Houston Zoo’s Conservation Impact Manager, Martha Parker shared the news, Dr. Noel’s bright smile lit up everyone’s screens, prompting applause all around.
“I am so honored to be named a Wildlife Warrior by the Houston Zoo” said Dr. Noel. “It is so nice to see how people appreciate and support our work. Even though I was selected for this award, the win remains for our entire team! Many thanks to Houston Zoo for your continued support of Gorilla Doctors!”