An Interview with Tamara Gray, UK Chair of Trustees, WildAid
Tamara kindly took some time to answer my questions
What is Wild Aid and what is your involvement with the charity?
WildAid’s mission is to end the international illegal wildlife trade. WildAid works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products by persuading consumers and strengthening enforcement. Our key species are highly endangered due to trade in their body parts for example tiger bone, shark fin, elephant ivory and rhino horn. WildAid works with international celebrities and influential individuals such as The Duke of Cambridge, Leonardo di Caprio and Lupita Nyong’o to reach consumers with the message “When the buying stops, the killing can too”. I head up WildAid in the UK.
Why did you decide to get involved with the charity?
WildAid was started by Peter Knights who I met when I was 23 years old. He was the chief undercover investigator for the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) we worked together there for many years. Pete was the first person to enter and film the terrible conditions endured by bears in farms in China. His extraordinary work was a great influence on me. When he left to set up WildAid he asked me to join him. Together we won the support of Kung Fu star Jackie Chan and WildAid was born. I saw that WildAid was what was needed in the world as it is only through education and changing peoples buying habits that we can stop the illegal wildlife trade.
What’s the hardest part of working with Wild Aid?
I think the hardest thing about working in the conservation movement is that the war is never over. There are always more people who want to exploit the worlds most endangered animals. When you hear of another Rhino or Elephant death you know that there is more work to do.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to run or start up a charity?
If you want to create change in the world then do all you can to do just that. Your enthusiasm and passion for whatever it may be in invaluable in this world.
What do you like to do to relax when you’re not working?
I like to be among my animals. I have three Highland cattle who I can’t resist photographing as they are such majestic beasts.
What quote do you live by?
“Aim High” I have learnt that to make changes in the world you have look at what you want to change and how you want to do it then throw caution to the wind and give it all you’ve got.
What is your goal for Wild Aid?
WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our life time so that must be our goal.
Where do you see Wild Aid in 5 years time?
For anyone working in charity the ultimate goal would be to be out of a job. Sadly we do not live in a world where this is likely so WildAid will be doing what it does best protecting our planet and the rare species who are helpless to help themselves.
WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. We envision a world where people no longer buy wildlife products such as shark fin, elephant ivory and rhino horn.
While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products by persuading consumers and strengthening enforcement.
With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and global network of media partners, WildAid leverages nearly $289 million in annual pro-bono media support. Our message reaches up to 1 billion people every week.
WildAid's strategy for achieving this goal is to reduce demand for these products using our slogan: