'Let's Go On Safari': 9-year-old writes book to put spotlight on wildlife conservation

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's "Be Kind To Animals Week," which makes it the perfect time to throw a spotlight on a book that is both a fun read and a call to action.

"Let's Go On Safari" is all the more remarkable because it was written by a 9-year-old girl.

Kate Gilman Williams first discovered the wonders of Africa on safari at the age of 7, but she was shocked to discover that poachers were killing elephants for their tusks and rhinos for their horns.

"You think of rhinos, elephants, and if when I grow up, there are none left, my whole generation will just be like, 'Wow, what happened to these animals?'" she said.

To try and save them, she came up with the idea of writing a book -- and she enlisted her safari guide, Michelle Campbell, in the project.

They wrote the book together "to not only tell kids what the dangers to animals are, but give them a really great idea on the things that you can do to help," Campbell said.

Both Kate and Michelle took photos for the book, but once it was finished, the question remained how to get it distributed?

Enter Ryan Seacrest.

"Ryan was a big help in this experience, because I was on the radio with him, and I said, 'All I need to do is find a publisher,'" Kate said. "And then three weeks later, I had a signed contract because someone was listening."

These two are not in this to make money. In fact, all of their profits from the book go to organizations devoted to wildlife conservation. There's the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Jane Goodall Institute, and Global Wildlife Conservation.

The stakes have never been higher, Campbell says.

"If we don't do something right now, there are animals that will be extinct in Kate's generation," she said. "And it is not the time to close your eyes and think this is a problem on the far side of the world. We need to take action."

Take action, just like one resourceful third grader did.

"I've learned that when you have a passion for something, just go for what you think you should," Kate said.

She has found support from legends in the conservation field like Dr. Jane Goodall and from celebrities like Debra Messing, who called her, "a role model for all of us."

Both Kate and Michelle will be at The Strand Bookstore in Manhattan on Saturday, June 11, signing their book.

For more information, visit KidsCanSaveAnimals.com.
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