Former Arabi resident to aid endangered species in AustraliaJan 4th, 2013 | By Jessica Gonzalez | Category: Community
Codi Whittington, a former Arabi resident and current student at Louisiana State University, will be traveling “down under” to volunteer with Australia’s endangered animals and environments.
This summer, Whittington will participate in a unique travel program in Australia with International Student Volunteers (ISV) and a group of 20 to 50 other students from around the globe, restoring Australia’s deteriorating natural habitat and declining animal population, following years of poor land practice and environmental devastation.
As a pre-veterinary major specializing in marine wildlife, Whittington is incredibly excited about her upcoming trip to the home of the Great Barrier Reef. Prior to attending LSU Codi has worked at Ponga’s Pet Palace, Hunnington Farms and completed an internship at Riverside Veterinary Hospital. She also attended a summer camp program last year at Sea World in Orlando, FL to learn more about aquatic life, and has visited Winter and other orphaned dolphins who can not be released into the wild at The Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida.
During the first two weeks in Australia, volunteers will spend their time either working outdoors on a habitat restoration project or conducting scientific research in a wildlife sanctuary. Through the ISV program, Whittington says she will gain a deeper appreciation and greater sense of stewardship for the natural wonders of Australia. “The first time a speaker came to my Renewable Natural Resources class and explained what a wonderful and exciting experience it would be to travel with ISV and help discover and protect koala bears and conserve their environment, Australia is where I need to go and traveling with ISV organization is the perfect opportunity,” says Whittington.
“As a pre-veterinary student, volunteering my time in Australia to work with animals and help the environment we all so desperately need is an opportunity I just can’t pass up.”
Over the last 200 years, Australia has lost many of its iconic species and has held one of the worst mammal
extinction rates in the world. The volunteers’ efforts help to protect and restore the unique and fragile Australian landscapes that provide a safe habitat for Australia’s threatened flora and fauna.
Whittington says that her main charges now are fundraising and getting her scuba diving license.
“Right now I’m working on getting sponsors,” Whittington explained. “I’m paying for most the trip myself
but I still need some help to get me there. I’m also trying to get my scuba license so I’ll be able to dive in Australia and Fiji.”