Serge Lussier, the man who sleeps with wolves
He could have chosen Madagascar, Indonesia, Australia, or any number of other exotic places. But zoologist Serge Lussier fell in love with the untamed nature of the Petite Nation, and that’s where he settled after travelling to more than 45 countries.
Dawn is breaking over the roughly 2,200 acres of Parc Oméga in Montebello. As happens most mornings, Serge Lussier is the first to arrive on the site. Gazing out over Lac des Truites, the wildlife park’s technical director and spokesperson takes his first sip of coffee. “Every morning starts like this,” he says with a smile. “I take a few minutes to reflect and appreciate how lucky I am to be in such a beautiful setting.”
He considers his work at Parc Oméga the reward for a long career looking after animals around the world. In his early 20s, while relaxing in his hammock in a national park in Costa Rica, Serge was visited by a family of monkeys. That chance encounter literally changed his life.
Discovery and protection
Forty years later, the zoologist is just as passionate about his mission, namely, to protect our living environment. As he sees it, his role as spokesperson extends well beyond Parc Oméga: he wants to raise awareness and promote the importance of nature internationally.
“If people aren’t exposed to nature, it’s hard to make a connection. When we immerse ourselves in nature, we realize how small we are!” he says philosophically. If there’s one thing Serge would like to impress on Parc Oméga’s thousands of visitors, it’s the importance of understanding and respecting the environment around us.
The Outaouais, wild kingdom
Of the 20 or so countries in which he has worked to protect endangered species, Serge says without hesitation that the most beautiful environment is the Outaouais. For him, the region is synonymous with wild nature, with its spectacular landscapes, clear lakes and untouched spaces. That’s why, at the end of another day spent in the heart of the forest, the zoologist tells me he is already looking forward to tomorrow morning. No surprise there!
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