Washington, D.C. (Oct. 12, 2017) — Aruna Gauba, a thirteen-year-old student from northern California, and Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), have published a new biography detailing Marker’s early life and 40-plus year career dedicated to cheetah conservation, The Cheetah Lady. The official launch will take place at the Wildlife Conservation Expo (WCN) on October 14, 2017, in San Francisco, and the book will be for available for purchase at CCF events for $20.00. All proceeds from sales will benefit CCF’s program to save the wild cheetah.
The inspiring collaboration between Aruna and Dr. Marker began when the pair met three years ago when the budding author was just 10 years-old. Living in the San Francisco Bay area, Aruna and her mother, Savitha Narayanan, regularly attend the annual WCN Expo where Aruna is a familiar, energetic presence. In 2015, she approached Dr. Marker with the suggestion of collaborating on a biography.
“I was introduced to Dr. Laurie Marker in a book, Chasing Cheetahs, and then I read more about her on a CCF website for kids. I met her for the first time at the Expo and was very excited because she has done so much work to preserve my favorite animal, the cheetah. She inspired me to get involved in fundraising,” said Aruna.
Like most girls her age, Aruna enjoys playing games — she is a chess standout –and socializing with friends at her school, the Khan Lab School in Mountain View, California, but unlike most others, she is already the author of two books to help raise money for cheetah conservation (her earlier work was a biography on Rebecca Klein of Cheetah Conservation Botswana, CCF’s sister program). What motivates such a young girl to take on such ambitious projects? According to Aruna, many people around the world are inspired by this magnificent big cat, but very few have dedicated their entire lives to help save them from extinction like Dr. Marker.
The Cheetah Lady tells the story of how Dr. Marker became a conservationist in 50 pages. The book includes many photos of Dr. Marker from childhood through the present and a timeline of milestone events in her life. The introduction is by Dr. Bruce Brewer, CCF’s General Manager. The book is intended for young readers, to reach them with messages about the importance of biodiversity and conservation in maintaining a healthy planet.
“Engaging young learners about conservation is a key strategy in CCF’s mission to save the wild cheetah from extinction, and I’ve often said we need to raise an army of conservationists if we hope to save the species. Collaborating with Aruna to create this book was a unique opportunity and one that is very special to me,” said Dr. Marker. “I predict she will become a leader in this movement as she grows up. She is one to keep an eye on.”