SAFE Worldwide is completely volunteer-based and we take no salaries. 100% of your donations go to programs that help to save wildlife in danger of extinction.
SAFE Worldwide is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit in California, USA
Click on Each photo to read more about each person.
FOUNDER OF SAFE WORLDWIDE
My name is Linda Lanzl, founder of SAFE Worldwide, and I have been dedicated to the conservation of endangered species all my adult life. I decided that I could no longer just watch from the sidelines and do nothing.
My first trip to Africa in 1997 included an encounter with the Mountain Gorillas of the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda. I felt an amazing connection with this incredible species and knew that we had to save the last remaining 550 that were left in the wild at the time. I have since traveled to many regions of the world, such as the Amazon, Borneo, the Arctic and China to understand for myself the plight of endangered species in those regions. I have made it a personal commitment to help save species that are close to extinction and need our protection to survive.
I believe that every species has a right to live on this planet without the fear of becoming a tourist attraction or ending up in a circus or the exotic pet trade industry. We believe in the rescue of animals taken from the wild with the goal of reintroducing them back into their natural habitats and homelands, when possible. We also partner with rescue and rehabilitation centers that are 100% committed to the welfare of each animal that is in their care, with the ultimate goal of either a full release back into the wild or providing them a safe and thriving environment when they can live out their lives without fear of their human guardians.
I am a woman with a passion for transformation. I am committed to human beings waking to the reality of the precarious position of the planet that we have been so blessed to inhabit, and the plight of the animals who share it. In short, I love animals, and I love people. I was drawn to contribute and participate with SAFE Worldwide precisely for this reason — for the inspirational and innovative way it goes about improving the living conditions and survival odds of endangered species in part by contributing to the sustainable well-being of the humans living in close proximity to these animals. This is achieved through a program which partners with local associations to manage and distribute micro-loans to individuals seeking to start a business. I am proud to both serve as a board member of SAFE Worldwide, and to help oversee the micro-loan program.
Board Member, Artistic Director, Senior contributor
I followed my childhood enchantment with wildlife and those who work to save them to a degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology from Montana State University. Since then, I worked in a veterinary hospital and became a sanctuary guide for Wolf Haven International. I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps Environmental Education and Stewardship Specialist with Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. My ultimate goals are to encourage people to understand their role in ecology, inspire their respect for other species, and empower them to act on behalf of our global home. I am a big proponent of using creative work to teach conservation science, combining humanitarian and animal welfare efforts, and tackling wildlife trafficking.
I joined SAFE Worldwide in 2021 as an article writer. Now, I am honored to serve as a board member and help guide our artistic projects, writing strategies, and education programs. It’s been an amazing experience so far!
PR, Policy & Education Program Dev. Director
‘If a lion could speak, we could not understand him’. Ludwig Wittgenstein
All my life I’ve been guided by my passion for animals and an ever-evolving sense that as part of the animal kingdom, we are not the most important part, but we are the most dangerous. Discovering SAFE Worldwide is like arriving home when we are the most weary. The shared compassion, drive, commitment and passion for our living planet—human and animal—of everyone at SAFE provides a beacon of hope at a time when our world faces its greatest challenges. My hope, working with SAFE, is to facilitate the understanding that we walk with animals on sacred ground, sharing a sacred space, and embodying a shared and sacred spirit, but we are not Nature’s master. Our greatest strength is our ability to learn, protect and thrive together as Her students, connected by each breath in the web of life.
In my role as Director of Public Relations, Policy and Education Program Development, I hope to capitalize on my extensive background as an attorney, educator and bioethicist to promote the importance of protecting our most vulnerable species, through education and productive collaborations with all stakeholders. In addition to my role at SAFE, I serve as Vice Chair of the New York State Bar, Committee on Animals and Law, and as Adjunct faculty in the Animal Behavior Graduate Program at Unity College in Maine. I have devoted much of my legal career to assisting grass-root animal rescues, and other animal protection nonprofits, as well as serving as a long time educator in healthcare ethics, U.S. and International wildlife law and the Human-Animal Bond for various academic institutions.
Rachel Spaulding is an environmental engineering major in the honors college at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is currently assisting in research on how hurricanes affect marine environments including coral reefs. She has always had a passion for helping people, animals, and the environment.
In her own words: “I knew that I wanted to volunteer my time to an organization, but I was particularly drawn to Safe Worldwide. Their goals of protecting wildlife and educating people, all while donating 100% of profits, is uniquely humanitarian and selfless. Through the use of social media, I hope to spread the message and goals of SAFE Worldwide, so others can get involved too”.
Rachel joined SAFE as our Instagram and Twitter Guru and is helping us with our social media presence so we can reach more young people who want to be a part of a movement for creating a better and kinder planet, believing that all species matter.
VIDEO CONTENT CREATOR & SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Elaine Sheng is a writer with a passion for storytelling. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a major in creative writing, minor in journalism, and a certificate in women’s studies. She enjoys works of prose and poetry. Her love for animals and nature stems from childhood – she remembers watching Nova and Nature on T.V. and decorating her bedroom wall with pages from National Geographic magazines. Being more knowledgeable and informed is necessary for progress. She hopes to raise awareness and enable others to be better equipped in dismantling current policies and practices that are destroying the planet.
She wants to amplify the voices of endangered animals, meanwhile highlighting the progress that continues to be made by activists, inventors, and organizations worldwide.
Social Media Content Manager
Victoria, also going by Tori, received her undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach for Music History followed by a Master’s degree at University of North Texas for Library and Information Science. She works as a librarian and enjoys connecting people to the right information for their wants and/or needs. In her free time, Tori enjoys watching animal documentaries (especially ones with David Attenborough), reading, and traveling with her husband and dog, Sven.
She joined SAFE Worldwide because she wanted to make a difference in the world for humans and animals. With her skills of research and talking with people of all ages, she hopes to inform people of the importance of the planet and endangered animals. She would like to reach as many people as possible by creating information that can go on social media and newsletters.
Senior Education Video Editor
As a retiree, Steve Fox enjoys giving back to my community. He was a volunteer member for over 15 years with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He currently does work with local senior citizens, helping them with tech products. He also assists in recording audio books for the blind.
During his professional career, he was a finance and accounting executive in the cable television industry.
Steve was interested in photography and videography, and has taught himself video editing. Looking for a way to apply his newly acquired skills, he came across an opportunity to assist SAFE Worldwide with its outreach through videos and social media. It has been a very rewarding and educational experience.
Steve has learned a lot about the plight of endangered animals through SAFE Worldwide, and now wholeheartedly support its unique approach to trying to save endangered species.
SR GRANT WRITER
Michele Seugling joined SAFE Worldwide in 2021 as a contributing grant writer. She has worked as a grant writer, a technical writer, and an editor for a variety of organizations in New Jersey. A lifetime animal lover and cat owner, Michele enjoys combining her professional skills with her appreciation of nature’s creatures. She has always felt a connection with animals and recognized their ability to think, feel, and love unconditionally.
Michele appreciates this unique opportunity to advocate for endangered species and their environments, and to assist this dedicated agency in expanding its philanthropic outreach for both animals and communities.
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATION & OUTREACH
Sammy has been involved in animal welfare and conservation work for nearly two decades.
Before launching her career in nonprofit communications and outreach, she traveled all over the US and across the globe to study, rescue, and care for wildlife of all kinds. She’s worked directly with whales, seals, sea turtles, and manatees, and still can’t stop talking about the rescued elephants she met in Thailand.
Sammy is an animal person through and through, loves all things wild, and is passionate about getting nonprofits all over the world the attention and funding they need to do great things. She joined SAFE Worldwide in 2022 to do just that.
EDUCATIONAL VIDEO CONTENT CREATOR
Stephanie has been sharing her video editing skills to our organization since 2021 and has helped create awareness for endangered species and the environment and how their absence can affect the human race in the long run.
Stephanie has a passion for film creation and has a dream to pursue a career in directing and creating film content.
Even though she is going to school full time, she has been an integral part of our team and we are exciting to see more of Stephanie’s work with us as we develop a greater presence on YouTube and TikTok.
Video Animation Manager
Since I was young I have always been crafting and telling stories. For me, film and animation have become the ultimate mediums for creating stories that have an impact. Filmmaking has helped to build connections, communities, and enrich my life. I want to use the medium to give back.
While I have always loved and taken an interest in animals, it wasn’t until a series of events that my world was opened up. I saw a silent puppet show called “Chimpanzee” that told the heartbreaking story of one chimp’s life in a lab cell. A few weeks later I found myself traveling up to north Georgia to see a sanctuary for ex lab-tested chimps. These events were a realization that there was a real place in the art to advocate for the protection of animals.
That led me to eventually come across SAFE Worldwide and begin assisting in the development of a chimpanzee short film. I have already learned so much. I am continually excited as my work with SAFE Worldwide advances.
Sr Video Editor
My name is Alex Zapata. I graduated from Loyola Marymount University majoring in film and television production, where I fell in love with video editing. I have a passion for storytelling and believe that videos are one of the best ways to communicate and make an impact.
I’ve always loved wildlife and exploring nature, and I believe that protecting the environment is such an important cause. Taking environmental history and environmental policy classes in college really opened my eyes into how much environmental organizations are needed, and I am glad to be able to help the cause with SAFE Worldwide.
SR 2D MOTION DESIGN ANIMATOR
Hi, I am Siying Zhao. I’m a motion designer and illustrator from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
In 2020, I received a bachelor’s degree in Illustration from SCAD and then I chose Motion Media Design as the major of the master’s degree. I really enjoyed dedicating myself to creating character designs and narrative illustration in various styles. I become more specialized in 2D and 3D animation, motion design, video editing, and kinetic typography.
I have always loved wildlife and enjoying nature. I have always been inspired by the beauty of the natural world and the passion it brings to my creations. I’m working with SAFE Worldwide to create an original cartoon inspired by rhinos. As a designer, I am committed to communicating wildlife conservation concepts to children through colorful and engaging visual experiences.
My name is Vani! I am an online student working toward earning my Bachelor of Science in Journalism at the University of Florida. I have had a passion for writing since I was a child. In the future, I would like to pursue a career in journalism specifically, environmental journalism and wildlife crime investigative journalism. I hope to take my photography skills to the next level and include photojournalism in my future career. I am a huge wildlife, animal, conservation, and environmental advocate.
SENIOR aRTICLE WRITER
Short Film Art Director
My name is Emily Gelinas-Darrall, I’m a senior studying Sequential Art with a focus in Concept & Story Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design.
I’ve always had a big imagination, and when I was a kid, I loved to create fantastical worlds to tell stories about. I envisioned myself working one day on creative projects where I would bring those worlds to life, not realizing how powerful and inspiring our real world could be. As an artist, I’ve always admired and respected nature and animals, but never thought I would have an opportunity to promote change on my own, which is why I’m so excited to be a part of SAFE Worldwide.
My role with SAFE Worldwide is to help create an animated short film to help protect Chimpanzee wildlife from poaching and illegal animal trade. It is an honor and a dream come true for me to be involved with a project like this, especially one run by such kind people who truly care about our planet and the beautiful creatures who reside here. I’m learning and growing every day with my work from SAFE Worldwide. Each new challenge I tackle with this team proves that with creative potential and passion for the world around us, great dreams are achievable. I aspire to use my creative gifts to embolden others to take action for the things they’re passionate about and seek positive change in the world around them.
MEDIA & RESEARCH ASSISTANT
My name is Lucy Hunt, and I am a biologist from Louisville, Kentucky. I have had a great love for animals and wildlife for as long as I can remember, and this passion has only grown throughout my life, leading me to a variety of jobs, opportunities, and education at home and abroad. My journey has led me to the Peruvian Amazon, the coral reefs of Belize, and, most recently, the South African bushveld. There, I had the incredible opportunity to live and work on a nature reserve, focusing on the rescue and rehab of southern white rhino calves orphaned due to the poaching crisis. This experience has inspired me to step into the non-profit realm, and I am excited to begin my journey with SAFE Worldwide, and work with a team whose values align so closely with mine.
As much as I love to travel, I also love to explore the rich community of Louisville and have adventures closer to home. I spend lots of time with my friends, family, and menagerie of pets, comprising of four dogs, a ball python, a conure, a bearded dragon, and a red-ear slider. Outside of biology, I enjoy reading novels, as well as making art through painting and sketching.
(Photo: milk feeding Lula, a young male southern white rhino orphan at Zululand Rhino Orphanage in South Africa.)
Hello! My name is Ricky Naude and I´m working with SAFE Worldwide on its grant writing and advocacy programs. Growing up in South Africa, I gratefully felt close to truly ¨wild¨ nature and I´ve always had great empathy for the dignity and sovereignty of nature. I´ve marveled with reverence at all the variety of animals and plants blessing out planet, and perhaps taken for granted that there would always be space and resources enough to accommodate them all. Sadly, around the world so many species are now critically endangered, competing with humans for habitat, while also facing the risks of being harvested for trophies, bushmeat or the illegal trafficking in wild animals or animal resources trade.
I have been truly impressed by the team of passionate, committed, and driven people Linda has harnessed as volunteers for SAFE Worldwide to fulfill its goals of endangered species protection and recovery. Many of the most critical challenges exist in developing countries, where humans living next door to endangered animals really struggle to make daily ends meet. SAFE Worldwide´s unique approach recognizes that these communities are an ineluctable part of conservation and species protection, by also providing community enrichment programs, including wildlife conservation education, small business assistance, and microloans.
I´m using my skills as a former attorney and university adjunct professor to strategize and advocate for the financial and other resources SAFE Worldwide needs to continue and expand its groundbreaking work. I truly enjoy and feel fulfilled knowing that what we are doing as a team is really making the difference on the ground, to the animals we seek to protect as well as the human communities next door.
EDUCATIONAL VIDEO CONTENT DEVELOPER
Victor is a college graduate from Grand Canyon University with a degree in Biology. He became a Biology teacher for high school students in Arizona. He has a passion for education, biomedical research, and animal welfare.
All of these interests led him to join SAFE Worldwide. Being self taught in video editing, he has been able to combine his love for education and editing skills to help people understand the amazing animals that inhabit our world.
Victor thrives to create diverse content for young students too learn from and inspire them to find ways to become active in conservation
Hi! I’m Chelsea, a frosh in high school. I love to dance, especially contemporary, ballet, and hip hop. In my free time, I like to read books, usually romance, city life, or mythology. I love animals in general, but am more of a cat person, and occasionally I foster kittens for a local shelter. My comfort foods are tomato and egg noodles, Lucky Charms cereal with cold milk, or any fruity candy. I joined SAFE Worldwide because since I was little, I have cared immensely about the health of the world, and hope to contribute my talents to promote environmental conservation and education.
Chelsea Xie, 9th grade, The Harker School
Sr video producer & Editor
Paul Fierst is a Wildlife Filmmaker based in Los Angeles California. He has worked in many facets of the film industry and studied Media Production at the University of Cincinnati. He is an avid world traveler and scuba diver, involved in both the recreational and scientific diving communities in Los Angeles. His lifelong love of wildlife and his career goals as a wildlife cinematographer led him to cross paths with SAFE Worldwide in Summer of 2023. He aims to bring more awareness to the threats posed against marine ecosystems and hopes to inspire a new generation of conservationists, filmmakers and advocates.