Antoine Mellon ’19, a junior studying world languages, was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellowship for summer 2017 from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. As a result, he spent the summer as a volunteer at Parque Ambue Ari, a wildlife center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, rehabilitating wild animals rescued from trafficking and taking amazing photos. He says it was an “unforgettable” experience. “Never before had I met such an open group of people, all with a common love of animals and volunteering.”
Here’s an excerpt from one of his posts for the SMU Adventures blog:
The past two months at Ambue Ari have gone by unbelievably fast. It seems like just yesterday that I arrived in the park, and listened in awe as people casually talked about walking their pumas or jaguars in the middle of the jungle. I can’t believe how quickly I took part in those conversations without realizing how crazy and amazing the work we were doing really was.
I had the opportunity to help Wayra move from a small cage into an enclosure that felt more like a small jungle surrounded by some fencing.