A tribute to Valerie Hare - a Stalwart and a person who impacts the Industry to this day!
The honour of knowing Valerie Hare is a privilege for many and one I take personally. Along with The Shape of Enrichment, she has almost single handedly enriched not only countless animals' lives, but the caregivers who care for them too.
She stepped into many of our lives through the publications of enriching stories and through direct personal hands-on workshops, the creation of conferences and attending symposiums here in Africa and beyond.
Along with her incredible support structures in the form of her family and friends she inspired many zoo keepers, curators, managers and owners of facilities to include and increase enrichment as a culture into their daily animal care. She inspired people to proceed with developing workshops, writing books, articles and developing products around enrichment. She encouraged the creation of SHAPE Branches around the world, including Africa in the form of SHAPE-Africa. She has shared her model, her passion and product with the world and for that I am grateful, and I know many people agree.
Through each tiny or small incremental enrichment step to the gigantic projects, she is and will be remembered. There are many who know her for her love, kindness, patience and above all her laugh. Knowing that she has been unfortunately diagnosed with terminal brain cancer does not diminish her power and her will. She, even in the late stages of her disease, still watches the birds, laughs and loves and appreciates the small things in life.
Valerie Hare we all thank you for your commitment to the cause that is behavioural welfare and environmental enrichment. You have inspired and created opportunities that keep on growing.
To Larry, Azylnn and Kylise my tears are with you. To Valerie’s close friends my heart is broken in that we are all losing a good friend and stalwart in the industry.
Travel safe Val,
Valerie at a UWEC workshop