Josh Gross was at a turning point in his life when he first found safariLIVE. "During that time I was in a graduate program in Mental Health Counseling, and was starting to doubt if that was really what I was meant to do," he says.
|Sunset over Djuma - screenshot by Josh Gross|
When WildEarth broadcast safariLIVE on NatGeoWild for Big Cat Week in 2014, Josh was watching and became "enthralled". "I had always loved animals and the outdoors, but had figured that my skills were not well suited to a wildlife-oriented career. So when I stumbled upon safariLIVE, I was instantly captivated. I couldn't believe that I could actually observe South African wildlife in real time from the other side of the globe, whilst also having my questions answered LIVE by your knowledgeable guides."
He started making time, in his already busy schedule, to watch as many drives as he could, prioritising his love for the show over completing papers for his studies. "In addition to being a great learning opportunity, the drives amplified the doubts I was having about my current path. I wanted so desperately to do something similar to what the guides were doing: to spend my days exploring the bush and getting people to care about wildlife. In short, safariLIVE helped show me what was most important to me."
|Karula - screenshot by Josh Gross|
When he then completed his graduate program and began to think about the path ahead, Josh searched for ways to make the shift to a career in wildlife. "Luckily I found that there are ways to use the social sciences to work for conservation, and I'm currently in a Master's program that will allow me to use my psychological training to create a better future for wildlife."
And this has change has worked out for the better. "In fact, at this very moment I'm preparing a research project that will allow me to study people's beliefs about jaguars in the South American country of Guyana."
|Quarantine Male Leopard and hyena - screenshot by Josh Gross|
safariLIVE remains an important part of Josh's life. He has had to adjust his schedule again, from July this year, to accommodate his new found career path, but makes time when he can to join us on the back of the vehicle and get another shot of "inspiration". "When I start to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges I've set for myself, I often think back to Hayden Turner's story. When he decided to pursue his dream and travel to Africa, his life changed in ways he never expected."
He knows that the sacrifices he makes now will have even greater rewards in the future, and says that when he's realised his own dream. "In the meantime, I can always relieve some stress by spending time in the South African bushveld with your wonderful guides."
|Hosana at the water - screenshot by Josh Gross|
Josh wishes to thank the safariLIVE team for all they have done for him. "You've helped to reawaken a passion I thought I'd lost, and helped to give me the confidence to pursue my greatest dreams." WE are sure you all will join us in wishing Josh luck for the journey ahead, and look forward to seeing all his aspirations realised.
If you have an interesting story to tell about your #safariLIVE or WildEarth experience, and would like to be featured in a future #safariLIVE Viewer Profile, contact us with your contributions, photo and video submissions at firstname.lastname@example.org. You could be interviewed next!