Laurie Marker Biography
Laurie Marker Biography
Laurie Marker Biography
Laurie Marker Biography
Laurie Marker Biography
Laurie Marker Biography

Laurie Marker Biography

Influential Animal Right Activist

Laurie Marker

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Who is Laurie Marker

Laurie Marker is an American zoologist, researcher, author, educator, and one of the world's foremost cheetah experts, who founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in 1990. As executive director of CCF, among many endeavors, Marker helps rehabilitate cheetahs and reintroduce them to the wild, performs research into conservation, biology and ecology, educates groups around the world, and works toward a holistic approach to saving the cheetah and its ecosystems in the wild. Before her work with CCF, Marker's career started to take off at the Wildlife Safari in the U.S., where her interest with captive cheetahs began.

Early Life

Laurie Marker (née Laura Lee Bushey) was born in Detroit, Michigan and lived in Birmingham, a suburb of Detroit. Her father, Ralph, came from a farming family and was an agricultural economist and accountant. Her mother, Marline, was an elementary and high school teacher and kept the family active in the community with nonprofit work. Marker's family moved to Southern California when she was four years-old. She spent her childhood surrounded by animals, learning how to care for horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, donkeys and goats. Marker's family resettled in Palos Verdes, and later in San Jose, both in Northern California (USA), in time for her to finish high school at age 16. There she solidified her love for animals, starting with her dogs, and her horse on which she competed locally. She started college early at San Francisco State University, intending to become a veterinarian, but the emerging wine industry in the Napa Valley caught her eye.

Cheetah Conservation Work

In 1990, Marker founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), which began as a research outpost in a small farmhouse on some land in Otjiwarongo, Namibia. She got the funding to purchase and start the initial facility by selling all of her possessions. Marker saw the problem of saving cheetahs as a holistic issue, in which local communities, farmers and governments needed to participate together for mutual goals. She created programs to aid farmers by providing free training in predator identification and livestock husbandry techniques to increase understanding and decrease losses. CCF has since bloomed into a world-renowned eco-tourism venue, and a conservation, research and education facility which reaches thousands of farmers, tens of thousands of students, and hundreds of thousands of online supporters worldwide.

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