Amanda and Brian were immersed in their own journeys of conservation when their paths crossed and their love story began. Brian Badger, originally from London, had been working and living in Africa at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia. Amanda, was back here in Ohio following her dream towards opening a wildlife conservation facility. In 2015 while Amanda was finishing her Master’s degree in zoology, she traveled to Namibia to study big cat conservation at CCF. Not only did Amanda get to meet one of her conservation role models, Dr. Laurie Marker, but she also met Brian who was CCF’s Operations Manager.
There was a spark between them, but living so far apart seemed impossible, so they both continued on their separate journeys. The following January, Brian traveled to the U.S. for a Conservation Lecture Tour, speaking at many zoos including Disney’s Wild Animal Kingdom, Indianapolis Zoo, Columbus Zoo and Cincinnati Zoo. It was in Cincinnati that Brian and Amanda reconnected, and it became apparent that their passions for conservation and wildlife also included each other! Brian proposed to Amanda later that spring and they were married in July 2016.
LEFT: Brian and Amanda at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia, Africa. CCF provides care to injured, orphaned and trapped cheetahs. Many cheetahs have been successfully released back to the wild thanks to CCF.