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Cobb woman strives to help abused animals in the Amazon

Most of us have only seen the fascinating animals of the Amazon in Discovery Channel-style documentaries, but that's not so for one Powder Springs resident angling to return to the rainforest. 

Kimberly Cruz has started a fundraiser to aid her mission of working at a wild animal sanctuary and release center for a year in Peru. The 23-year-old first volunteered in the South American country in 2015, that time for two months.   

Hooked, Cruz returned to Peru the following year. She was struck by witnessing animals suffering from habitat loss, the pet trade and illegal hunting, and wanted to help. 

Last year, Cruz volunteered at the Amazon Shelter, which helps animals that have been mistreated, captured and abused before releasing them back into the wild. She has since worked for the Peruvian shelter from afar — raising funds for medicine, building communication and outreach programs — but wants to live and work at the shelter full time. 

This will cost $6,000, Cruz says. Hence the Indiegogo campaign.

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Amazon Shelter from kimberly on Vimeo.

Cruz, who idolizes primatologist Jane Goodall, offers rewards for donors. Items include animal photos, jewelry that has been “handcrafted by the shipibo people from the Amazon rainforest” and paintings.

She also promises to write blogs and post photos and videos so people can follow along as she works in Peru.

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