Dr Alan Rabinowitz is a big cat expert who recently featured on the BBC radio four programme, Midweek. Although the programme focused primarily on his work, I was drawn to his story about the first time he was introduced to big cats.
As a young boy, he was afflicted with a terrible stammer that rendered him speechless and saw him vilified both by his teachers and other pupils. Despite being classed as a ‘retard’, he battled on knowing that he wasn’t stupid or sub normal. He recounted how he found comfort, friendship and his speech by talking to animals that didn’t judge or poke fun, and recalled his father taking him to the zoo where he talked to tigers about his troubles.
Dr Rabinowitz has “dedicated his life to surveying the world’s last wild places, with the goal of preserving wild habitats and securing homes, on a large scale, for some of the world’s most endangered mammals”, and I think I’m a fan!