Linda Bender’s love of the natural world began in her childhood backyard. From orphaned deer to blue jays prematurely bumped from their nests, animals in distress somehow found their way to her. Her rapport with animals inspired her to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine.
During the fourteen years she spent living in England, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Linda’s veterinary work included the rescue, rehabilitation, and protection of wildlife, often in remote areas. Working with zoos in Southeast Asia, she treated animals rescued from the wildlife trafficking trade and helped reintroduce them back into their natural habitats. Among those given a second chance at life were clouded leopards, tigers, orangutans, and numerous species of rare psittacine and passerine birds. Working in the field with rarely encountered wildlife, she helped to develop treatment protocols.
In both Asia and Africa she worked with local communities promoting anti-poaching initiatives and education programs. Sharing stories of her deep connection to animals helped school children understand, respect and protect both wildlife and domestic animals.
Linda’s other enduring interest is spirituality. For over twenty five years, she has practiced meditation and studied many of the world’s wisdom traditions, including shamanism. Learning the traditions and ancient wisdom of indigenous people enriched her understanding of the sacred connection between humans, animals, and nature. These experiences helped shape her environmental consciousness and deepened her commitment to conservation.
Linda is a certified instructor with The Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California and has lectured on animals and healing at The Chopra Center. In England, she studied energy medicine and is a certified practitioner of “Energy For Life”. Her interest in the spiritual aspects of human healing led her to found the Mind the Gap Wellness Center in Cincinnati and a pet therapy program through the Ohio Mental Health Association. She is cofounder of the nonprofit organization, From The Heart. Linda has also produced a meditation CD entitled “Awakening the Heart.” Linda has recently completed her first book, and currently gives lectures and workshops worldwide on the relationship between humans, animals and nature. [www.lindabender.org]