Coleen Ellis, expert on pet loss and grief

Coleen Ellis—an expert on pet loss and dealing with the kind of grief that results from losing an animal companion—recalls how the loss 18 years ago of her beloved dog, Mico, coupled with then working in the human funeral profession, inspired her to start the first pet funeral home, launching her on the path to becoming a sought-after speaker and consultant in the pet bereavement realm. Read more…

Carol Buckley, longtime expert in the care of captive elephants

Carol Buckley—a longtime expert in the care of captive elephants, who co-founded The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, moving on to found Elephant Aid International, a nonprofit organization “that creates innovative approaches to the care and management of captive elephants”—seeks to address, 47 years into working with these animals, what exactly it is about elephants that stole her heart, and keep stealing it. Read more…

Wayne Lynch, author & photographer of “Bears of the North: A Year Inside Their Worlds”

Wayne Lynch—science writer, photographer, and author of numerous books, most recently, “Bears of the North: A Year Inside Their Worlds,” a deep and thorough exploration of the four northern bears: American black bear, polar bear, brown bear, and Asiatic black bear—offers his perspective on what it is about bears that so many people find so enchanting. Read more…

Mary Keith, an organizer of the Florida Birding and Nature Festival

Mary Keith—the field trip coordinator for the Florida Birding and Nature Festival, taking place Oct 15-17, based at the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, Florida—recalls first becoming enchanted with birding decades ago, as the daughter of botanists, growing up in rural Pennsylvania. Read more…

Erin Amerman, founder of Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary

Erin Amerman—the founder of Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary, which across two facilities located in and around Gainesville, FL houses some 150 cows, making it, they say, the country’s largest cow sanctuary, while providing refuge to other rescued farm animals, including pigs, donkeys, turkeys, and horses—traces her animal rescue path back to being a seven-year-old with a pet rat named Templeton. Read more…