Stefanie Powers


William Holden Wildlife Foundation
William Holden Wildlife Foundation

International Society for the Protection
 of Mustangs and Burros


Bush Meat Crisis

Dr. Birute Galdikus' Orangutan Foundation

Farm Sanctuary

Stefanie Powers’ professional career in films, television and theater began at age 15, but her love and protection of animals goes back to her first recollection and earliest memory.  Her mother provided her with a stepfather who raised thoroughbred racehorses and who collected the odd exotic animal to dot around the stud farm or to rescue from an undesirable fate.  Thus, she grew up surrounded by animals of all descriptions.

Later Stefanie found a baby Malaysian Sun Bear for sale in a pet shop in West Hollywood and, convinced that he would fall into the wrong hands, she "rescued" him, thus opening the doors to the world of wildlife, veterinarians, collectors, protectors and conservationists.  But it was through her long relationship with actor/conservationist, William Holden, whose many years in Kenya motivated his conservation activities—long before the notion of conservation was embraced by popular culture.   Through Holden’s  work as co-creator of the Mount Kenya Game Ranch several East African species have managed to escape extinction by on site captive breeding and by export to zoos and zoological parks in Europe and North America. After his death, Stefanie, along with Holden’s former partners, created the William Holden Wildlife Foundation (a U.S.-based public charity) in an effort to carry on with his dream of an education program as a back up to the species conservation ongoing at the game ranch.  (Now the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy.)  Today, the Foundation’s Education Center offers conservation programs appropriate to the local population and serves well over 10,000 students per year. In addition, the Foundation operates a rural outreach program providing libraries and field installations at rural schools that involve over 2,000 students and their families.

Stefanie Powers is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Zoo and formerly served on its board, she is also a former member of the advisory board of the Zoo Atlanta and the Columbus Zoo. She has received many awards for her work with WHWF as well as her work with Dr Biruté Galdikas (The Orangutan Foundation), Dr. Betsy Dresser (Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Wildlife - Audubon Zoo, New Orleans), Karen Sussman (International Society for the Protection of Burros and Mustangs) and Grace Belcnore (California Equine Retirement Foundation for rehabilitation of retired racehorses).  Ms. Powers is a frequent keynote speaker for causes dear to her heart such as Farm Sanctuary (humane treatment for farmed animals), and the Bushmeat Crisis (alerting and uniting people to the effects of over-exploitation of forests in Africa and the world and its disastrous effect on wildlife).  She has been honored by venerable Explorers Club with its Lowell Thomas Award for her conservation efforts and received a Fellowship to the Royal Geographic Society.

In addition, a ground-breaking opportunity arrived with Jaguar Motor Company of North America in 2003 when Ms. Powers was appointed Conservation Consultant offering her an opportunity to create  the by-laws for the Jaguar Conservation Trust, a full spectrum conservation program for the Jaguar cat.  This marks the first time in motor industry history that an automobile company has dedicated itself to the preservation of the very species from which it derives its name.  The Trust awards annual grants to organizations that preserve protect and propagate the jaguar, and Ms. Powers, working with judges in each country, selects the winners.  She is also involved in Jaguar’s parent Ford Motor Company’s efforts to save the wild mustang and is on the advisory board of the newly-formed Vanishing Herds Foundation in India, whose primary effort is the protection and preservation of the Gujarat Asiatic lion population dangerously in peril of extinction.

It is safe and accurate to say that Stefanie Powers leads a double life, one in front of the camera or on a stage and one in absolute dedication to the preservation of animals and the natural world.

© Stefanie Powers 2009
Page Last Updated 8/20/09