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Meet Maria Diekmann

Rare and Endangered Species Trust Namibia

  • Featuring:
  • Maria Diekmann
  • Published:
  • 7 May 2019
  • Featuring:
  • Maria Diekmann
  • Published:
  • 7 May 2019
Maria Diekmann - Rise of the Matriarch

We first met Maria during the Rise of the Matriarch Expedition with our conservation partners, Blue Sky Society Trust and she left us feeling inspired and in awe – We knew we had to share her story with you.

Maria started the Rare Endangered Species Trust
in 2000 and has since played a critical role in the conservation of Namibia’s vulnerable species, creating awareness around some of the most misunderstood and endangered animals – The Forgotten Five, including: Cape Griffon Vultures, Cape Pangolins, Dwarf Pythons, Spotted Rubber Frogs, and Damara Dik Dik.

If a woman feels strong enough about something, and she’s passionate enough about something and she finds an inner strength, then there’s nothing that can stop her.
- Maria Diekmann
One of the most meaningful moments in Maria’s life was when she met Roxy, a birthing pangolin. Maria devoted over three months to living with Roxy and her new pup, monitoring and recording the birth and helping to raise the pup. This had never been done before in recorded history and while it was extremely difficult, it was the experience of a lifetime. Roxy and Maria formed an immensely strong bond and Roxy trusted Maria with her pup to such an extent that within a week of the birth she brought the baby pup to Maria and he climbed on to her. Thus began a love affair with pangolins that has continued throughout the years and has driven Maria to devoted her life to protecting and conserving one of the most trafficked species in the world.
REST chose the “Forgotten 5” species in an effort to focus on animals that do not often get the attention needed by general media unless extra effort is made. They represent biodiversity, which REST feels is key to good conservation.
Maria has a very hands-on approach to the work she does at REST, with the conservation of the species at REST taking priority above all else. Maria has truly found her passion and after meeting and spending time with this incredible woman we can definitely attest to the fact that nothing will stop her from fighting to protect the Forgotten Five.

Watch our film to learn more about Maria and the species she is fighting to protect.

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Maria Diekmann - Rise of the Matriarch

Meet Maria Diekmann

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