SKINNIEBELLE grills eco adventurer and naturalist Catherine Capon.
Hey Hey Catherine!
For those that don’t know, Catherine Capon is…..
An ecodventurer, naturalist and writer. This slightly unusual trio of titles basically means that I spend my time promoting ecotourism and wildlife watching holidays as a way to make endangered animals worth more alive than dead. Here’s a short video to explain more: https://vimeo.com/129714168
Describe a day in the life of Catherine…
One of the best things about what I do is that every day is totally different. One day I could be hiking through pristine rainforest setting camera traps for tigers, and the next, I’m diving in shark infested water with adrenaline pulsing through me. In contrast, when I’m in London, I spend a disproportionate amount of time staring at screens setting up the next project and writing about the last. I relish both sides of the job as one makes me appreciate the other.
Three emoji’s that best describe you?
I love this question! All of the animals one, but, if I have to settle for three – ? ??
How did you get into ecotourism?
I’ve always been obsessed with wildlife. As a child, when I wasn’t glued to David Attenborough documentaries, I’d be climbing trees to see birds’ nests and searching hedgerows for hedgehogs. I never lost this passion it drove me to study zoology and ecology at uni. Classroom learning was always frustrating for me as I just wanted to see, smell and feel all that I was being taught in the wild. So, when the opportunity came up to study bats in Honduras for 3 months, I jumped at the chance. This expedition made me happier than I’d ever been and it really inspired me to want to engage people in nature and feel the same pleasure.
Ecotourism (although not always perfect) is one of the best tools we have to conserve endangered species. I’m hoping to encourage more people to try an ecoadventure for the first time.
Where have you just got back from?
I’ve just got back from Svalbard in the Arctic Circle with Basecamp Explorer. My article will be coming soon on CatherineCapon.com but you can see some of the images from this trip on my instagram page: https://instagram.com/catherinecapon/?hl=en We saw Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes, Reindeer and Walruses.
Favourite animal fact?
This one is because I’ve just come back from the Arctic. Polar Bears can sniff out seals up to 2km away due to their incredible sense of smell!
What has been your career highlight so far?
My wildlife highlife would be stroking a curious grey whale calf in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur. I never normally encourage people to touch wild animals but these whales actively seek a rubdown from humans. Maybe it helps to get parasites off their skin or maybe they just enjoy the affection!
I also get huge pleasure from people saying that they’ve booked an ecoadventure after reading my articles and seeing the photographs. It makes the whole campaign feel worthwhile.
Do you find it hard being a woman in your field of work?
Unfortunately I have found challenges along my journey due to being a woman. I’ve been told that I ‘don’t look like an adventurer’ and that ‘women are distracting on expeditions’ when meeting with some sponsors, partners and media. It’s really surprising that there is still such a male skew in this area in 2015.
How do you combat this?
I’m not one to be knocked back by a problem; I’m trying to find an opportunity in this barrier. I’ve written about my experiences in the Huff Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/catherine-capon/only-men-can-be-adventurers_b_8098900.html) and I’m planning some even more challenging ecoadventures for 2016!
How can our readers get into the world of ecotourism?
Start by booking an ecoadveture. Swap the four-poster for a tent and the infinity pool for a rainforest river and I can guarantee that you’ll come away with more from your holiday than just a tan. I’ve worked with Inspired Escapes (http://www.inspiredescapes.com/), Mantis (http://www.mantiscollection.com/) and Base Camp Explorer (http://basecampexplorer.com/).
What are your top 3 instagram accounts to follow?
Cristina Mittermeier, Paul Nicklen and Shawn Heinrichs
What can our readers do to help your plight?
Check out my website and social media pages and then book an ecoadventure. Once you’ve done one, I think you’ll be hooked!
What is next for Catherine Capon?
Next week I’m off to British Columbia in Canada to see the Grizzly Bears with Mantis. Every spring and autumn hunters recreationally kill Grizzly Bears in BC for trophies. I’m trying to encourage more wildlife watching and photography tourists to the area so that this becomes worth more than the hunting industry.
Thanks Miss Catherine, good luck on your next adventure. We heart you! love and light xxx
This interview was originally published on SkinnieBelle.com