Bronte Zunis ’19 says she has always felt a strong bond with animals, especially tigers, and when she found out they were close to extinction, she knew she had to help. Through research, she discovered Panthera, a wildlife conservation group helping to save big cats, and on Friday, October 30, she will hold a “Treat for a Tiger Bake Sale” in the Center for Well-Being to benefit the organization.
Bronte enjoys taking action to support Panthera. “I visited their main offices in New York City and was amazed at what they were accomplishing,” she reports. Their efforts are dedicated to ensuring a future for wild cats and the vast landscapes on which they depend.
This will be her fourth fundraiser at Ross to help the tigers and abused animals. So far, she’s raised about $2,000, and while she does not have a specific target in mind for the ongoing effort, she thinks reaching $10,000 would be “fantastic.” Some of the money will be used to equip law enforcement agents with the proper knowledge and training to deal with poachers and local conflicts, ensure proper security in tiger hotspots, and provide tracking devices for the animals.
“Tigers play a critical role in the balance of the ecosystem. They are a main predator, and without them, many animals will overpopulate areas and eat other animals’ food sources,” Bronte explains. “Eventually, this will affect trees and seed germination.”
Part of the problem is that some countries rely on money from tourism and offer visits to tiger habitats, where the cats are often abused behind the scenes. After the bake sale, Bronte hopes to set up donation jars in restaurants and stores to raise money and awareness of these situations.
“Earth is already in trouble, and losing one of its most important species will add immensely to the burden we already feel. I hope to change the almost delusional perception that wild animals have very little positive effect on our lives,” she said.
The bake sale starts at 3:30pm. Stop by for a treat and to learn more about the cause.