A 29-year-old former soldier turned zoologist and glacier expert from Leeds is striving to save the Amazon rainforest from destruction.
Brad Parsk, originally from Rothwell, where he lived until he was 23, is seeking help from his home city to fund vital conservation research.
Brad told the YEP: “In 2009, after leaving the British Army, I spent several months travelling the globe.
“While I was fortunate enough to visit over 28 different countries, everywhere I went I saw the destruction of the environment by human activity. I vowed to try and make some kind of positive difference for the natural world and the vanishing species which rely on it for their survival.”
He moved to Alaska in 2010 to take part in wildlife research for species such as black bears, lynxes, cougars and wolves, then in 2013 he moved to the American east coast for a job as lead zookeeper at Reston Zoo, Virginia, where he met his partner, Julia.
The pair have taken part in field expeditions around the world and say they “want to make a difference, on a planet which is suffering, now more than ever, from highly destructive human activity.”
“A rapidly growing human population, over-reliance on vehicles and fossil fuels, lack of sustainable energy initiatives, pollution, housing and industrial development, littering and ever-increasing global demand for products translates to mass destruction of the environment, including areas of natural beauty such as coral reefs, oceans, rainforests and green spaces.
“We all have the opportunity to take positive action against this, but only a tiny portion of the population understands just how deep-rooted these problems are – and of those people only a smaller number still, actually care enough to try and do something about it. This is the sad predicament of our current situation. Today, there are well over 7.3 billion humans inhabiting the Earth, three times more than there were just 100 years ago, and as the caretakers of our planet we are doing an appalling job.
The pair are now planning a trip to South America, working closely with established conservation groups gathering important data, conducting field research, protecting indigenous tribal lands from logging and partaking in survival initiatives for species that desperately need our help, in a bid to help save the Amazon Rainforest from destruction.
If you want to know more about the project or help fundraise see www.gofundme.com/i9ezoo.