Meet the "New" Face of Animal Activism
From Asia to Africa, Gabby Wild, the "new" face of animal activism, has traveled the world to aid animals. A current veterinary student at Cornell University, she's tended the gamut of animals from horses to hippos. But what turned Gabby "wild"?
On one of her adventures to aid elephants in Thailand, Gabby encountered a baby elephant by the name of Khun Chai or "Prince" that had been stolen from his mother in the jungle. When she met him, he was malnourished and had little chance of survival, but shortly after they met, human and elephant developed an unconditional bond. He trusted her and gained a desire to live. Between shifts at the elephant hospital, Gabby would bottle feed him and take him on walks through the jungle to strengthen his bones and expose him to sunlight. Word of this strange bond reached local villagers who began to call her Khun Chai's "step-mother".
Although Gabby significantly improved his health, he stopped eating after she returned to Cornell University to complete her Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Animal Science. Shortly thereafter, he passed away. Distraught by this news and by the horrific fact that the endangered species list is increasing at an alarming rate, Gabby created the largest eco-fashion campaign of all time where she has been wearing one outfit for an entire month for each month of 2012 to save 12 threatened animals from extinction.
Nine of the sustainable outfits have been made by high-fashion designers predominantly from the Emmy-award winning TV show Project Runway including winners Jay McCarroll and Seth Aaron Henderson, and the others, such as the Chinese giant salamander and purple frog, have been created by exclusive sustainable designers.
Through her charity, The Gabby Wild Foundation, Inc., she has been raising both funds and awareness for these animals. In her second month, she was featured by Luis Valenzuela in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week's TheGreenShows, and then was featured in the Fashion Fights Poverty Seventh Annual Fashion Gala in Arlington Va., March 31. She has been named a "Champion of the Zoological Society of London" and a "Hero of the Revolution" by Sustainatopia.
"The '12 in 12 for 12' campaign is about celebrating and preserving beauty -- the artistic beauty of fashion innovation and the natural beauty of some of nature's most incredible designs," said Gabby. "We're all drawn to beauty, but unless we can find new ways to make people see the treasures we're losing all around us in nature, too many will very soon be gone forever.
This month Gabby is wearing the dress designed by Kristin Haskins Simms, featured on Season 8 of Project Runway. The dress, made of organic cotton, stretch lycra, and recycled brass, represents the endangered Ganges River dolphin, of which between 1,200-1,800 remain. These dolphins are 1 of 4 obligate freshwater dolphins and are functionally blind due to the lack of lenses in their eyes. They are evolutionary wonders and deserve proper conservational attention.
For more information about Gabby Wild and how to help save the Ganges River dolphin from extinction visit www.gabbywild.com.
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