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February 18, 2020

Anita's Amazing Animal Conservation Stories!

People of the DVCC, People of fitness

Anita had always lived a busy lifestyle, but now she's entered her retirement, she's stepping things up a notch!

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“I recently retired but I think that I am now busier than I ever have been!

 
I love to do animal conservation and I love to travel around and do it abroad. I’ve been to Thailand to help look after elephants, I’ve been all over Europe to look after bears in Romania. Dogs, cats, donkeys, horses, goats, pigs in Spain and that’s all since I retired since January this year - So I’ve had a fantastic time so far!
 
It was always something that I wanted to do but I feel like I never had the time. You know when you’re working full time, you only get so much holiday a year you end up thinking - well if I volunteer abroad, that’s just going to be more work. So you tend not to do it whilst you’re working, but now I would recommend it to absolutely anyone!
 
But now, it’s just a real passion of mine.
 
I remember one of the pigs I was looking after in Spain had been bred for slaughter, but we managed to rescue him just before he went to the slaughterhouse…and he was huge. All the pigs have big mud baths in their pens, but he was so heavy he couldn’t roll over in his. My job was to help give him a mud bath every day. So I would lie down in the bath with him, with a mud pack on my face, and smooth the mud into him and he would make the most amazing sound in my ear! He just loved the interaction!
 
Likewise, I was walking along with a heard of elephants, they always say to you: “Don’t get in their space, but if they want to, they’ll interact with you” and I remember the most magical evening, we were walking down to the river and this elephant, she put her trunk around my arm and we just carried on walking together. It was magical! They’re just so gentle!
 
I’m 66, so as I’m getting to my more mature years, I want to help people realise that age is never a barrier to stop you from doing anything!”
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