Charlotte Houpline

"I am motivated by a deep passion for nature. As a child, I fell in love with big cats. I watched all the stories about these fascinating creatures on TV and I saw how in Asia, Africa and elsewhere they were slaughtered for their skins, which fueled the trade.

Shock, pain and love I felt changed me forever. It was at that moment, when I was 10, I decided to dedicate my life to protect cats and wildlife from trafficking. I already knew at this age, what I wanted to do. I did not want to become a biologist, who would study species that would soon be extinct, I wanted to become an activist, who would fight the poachers and traffickers who drive them to extinction. Overwhelmed by injustice and greed of humans, I dreamed only of one thing: stopping the killings and coming down on those, who do it. My love for these animals led me to getting involved in direct action, as I do not want to live in a world without lions and elephants."

After completing several degrees in ecology, wildlife management and nature protection, at the age of 22 Charlotte left for a national park in Africa to fulfill her childhood dream, to never leave Africa again.

She is involved in conservation and anti-poaching activities in several West African countries, especially focusing on big cats and great apes. After working in a sanctuary which takes care for orphaned chimpanzees saved from traffickers, and in the Jane Goodall Institute, as well as in other conservation organizations, she became the expert advisor to the Ministry of Environment of Guinea for 2 years.

In 2010, she founded the NGO WARA CONSERVATION in France and quickly focused its activities on the fight against poaching and trafficking of cats. She launched a project to investigate lion and leopard trafficking in Guinea and poaching in National Park of Upper Niger.

Then in early 2012, Charlotte started the first replication of LAGA model in West Africa: the GALF (noe EAGLE Guinea) project, meant to enforce the application of wildlife law in Guinea. Soon the first arrests and prosecutions of traffickers were brought about in the country: 7 traffickers charged with 10 leopard skins were sentenced.

After 8 years in Guinea, in late 2013, she replicated the LAGA model in Senegal, where thanks to EAGLE Senegal, traffickers were again arrested and sentenced to prison for the first time. One of the first operations led to arrest of 5 international traffickers charged with 29 lion and leopard products and 2,600 other skins and parts of protected animals.

Gradually her childhood dream came true.