Exotic wildlife, including elephants, can thank their lucky stars that Marlina Moreno, a 24-year-old beauty who has modeled for Sports Illustrated and danced for an NFL team, “found her calling” after visiting a South African jungle in 2012. After that fateful trip, she felt compelled to leave her spot on the cheerleading squad for the San Diego Chargers to follow her dream, reports Thomas Burrows for Mailonline.
She attributes her wanderlust to her eagerness to “shoot wildlife conservation documentaries” allowing her to “marry her love of wildlife and filming.” She has already traveled, with her “Pink Monkey Media,” all over “Asia, Africa, & South America” visiting more than 8 countries in the process.
While not exactly leaving her old life behind, she dances for a nightclub in San Diego on weekends to fund her expensive trips, she has never seen herself as too “girly” to acclimate to the “jungle life.” “I never planned on dancing it’s just something that happened but it’s been a great platform and I’ve been able to bridge two different worlds,” Moreno recently said.
Raised humbly on a farm, surrounded by animals, this California girl has nevertheless made her way in the world and is currently pursuing “her second MA in Conservation Biology.” Whether posing for a Nike ad or next to a playful elephant on a conservation trip this girl, who seems to have had it all, has made her choices and when you think about it, the life of adventure “helping to save exotic wildlife” doesn’t sound that bad. Not that bad at all.
Photo credits: The Daily Mail : Marliina Moreno Meets Elephant and Marliina Moreno & a playful elephant on a conservation trip
For photos of Marlina Moreno and her conservation trips to save elephants and other wildlife see The Daily Mail online