The Columbus Zoo Finds That to Help Animals, You Have to Help People First.

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“When I looked into the eyes of the poacher, I realized for the first time that he was not the enemy.”

Those are astounding words coming from a wildlife conservationist. But then, Charlene Jendry isn’t your ordinary gorilla keeper. As cofounder of Partners in Conservation, an organization run by the Columbus Zoo, she’s in charge of devising and implementing some of the most ingenious animal-protection programs in the world, far from Central Ohio. Jendry and PIC, as the organization is known, do the lion’s share of their work in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire), in conjunction with local governments. Jendry spends months there each year, applying the zoo’s guiding philosophy in practical ways: To help wildlife, you must help the people who share their space. Read more

From Conversation to Conservation