Lara Valmor, 39, from Cadaval, is an administrative at CNRLI since 2009.
Now that she thinks about it, it was a coincidence. Lara took a degree on Biology in Évora University. “As a freshman, my costume was one of an Iberian-lynx. It was a sheet with a drawing of a lynx’s face. My job was to give out fliers announcing a lecture by Nature Protection League (LPN, a Portuguese environmental organization). Coincidences.”
Before coming to CNRLI, Lara worked at a society of chartered accountants and studied Environmental Law among other subjects.
“When the centre opened I applied to become a keeper but that did’t happen. Today I’m multitask: I do surveillance to help the keepers and I help with the anesthesias, the transportation and the captures. I do all that because I love it. I’m curious about how everything works.”
In the beginning it was very hard for all the people at the centre. “Everything was made by the team, with a lot of dedication.”
Today that same dedication carries on. “We work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We never close. I work from 9am to 6pm, but I’m here for whatever its necessary.”
Lara wants people to know what is being done at the CNRLI. “Whenever we receive any suppliers I show them the lynx on the surveillance monitors. Usually they get surprised. The majority don’t know we work here every single day and that there are so many lynx. And they ask a lot of questions.” On the street, people ask Lara about the felines, when she goes around with a t-shirt with lynx.
Lara has a special fondness towards lynx for a long time. The difference is that today she knows a lot more about them. “Each cub being born here is like a grandson or great-grandson to me. When a young lynx is released in the wild we get really happy. It’s the end of a job well done and it means that all went right.”
“I watched live to the first copula at the centre. I couldn’t believe my eyes. We were so excited.” Today Lara is more moderate when lynx start to being born at CNRLI. “In the first year we didn’t sleep at all just to watch those special moments. We made love stories with the males and females, we imagined each other’s lines and invented romances”, she recalls, smiling.
A team from Wilder has been at CNRLI for two days on March 2015. In this series we show you how is it to work at this centre and all the people who take care of this endangered species.