On August 5, 2018, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz passed away. According to this press release from Panthera, the wild cat conservation organization that he co-founded, his death came after a long battle with cancer.
Dr. Rabinowitz was a hero in every sense of the word. As a result of being born with a severe stutter, he was often rejected and isolated during his childhood. The only people he could easily talk with were animals, because they accepted him without judgement.
Dr. Rabinowitz related particularly well to a jaguar that was kept in a small cage in the Bronx Zoo. The sight of this powerful animal being locked away resonated with his own feelings, and Dr. Rabinowitz vowed to become a voice for big cats (Rabinowitz, 2014). He did exactly that.
Through hard work and sheer force of will, Dr. Rabinowitz overcame his stutter. He then went on to become one of the most influential conservationists of our time. He worked tirelessly to protect jaguars and tigers, and was the driving force behind the creation of several crucial reserves and ambitious conservation programs – such as the Jaguar Corridor Initiative.
As he describes in his phenomenal book An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar, Dr. Rabinowitz also understood that effective conservation had to take people’s needs into account. He never lost his compassion towards his fellow human beings, and tried as much as he could to make conservation work for local people.
In honor of their co-founder, Panthera has uploaded a series of tributes to this great man. These include a biography, notes from his friends and colleagues, a slideshow, and an infographic of Dr. Rabinowitz’s career highlights.
I strongly recommend you visit Dr. Rabinowitz’s Tribute Page, to learn more about that extraordinary man and receive a healthy dose of inspiration.