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Cool Kid goes 'wild' for California wildlife

February 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
This week's Cool Kid is "wild" for his surroundings. He's passionate about the environment and the creatures that live around us.

Tanner Saul is inspired by wildlife, and even though he's young he wants to do all he can to preserve nature trails and wildlife for the future. He's also devoted himself to tracking mountain lions and coyotes so they can be studied.

"It's all about the knowledge," said Tanner. "To understand where their habitat is, I think they'll be more safe. So the knowledge goes into the safety."

He can't be everywhere, so Tanner has set up motion-sensor cameras to capture the animals in their natural surroundings.

"Some of them are around here in the Santa Monica Mountains. Others are in the Verdugos," said Tanner. "They're scattered all over Southern California."

Every time he tracks, Tanner learns more about the animals and how they live. He shares that information with others too.

"Most of the data I give to the National Park Service because I'm helping them out with their research program right now. And the Falladay Fund, who I just met with yesterday actually, now I'm going to be working with them in their database," said Tanner.

A 16-year-old junior at Agoura High School, Tanner already has a future planned that will keep him outside in the environment he loves so much.

"I've got all these connections already at such a young age," said Tanner. "And I hope that experience will keep building so then one day I could just become a full-time job actually tracking these instead of just being the research teller."

Our Cool Kid says we can all learn something about the wildlife that's closer than you might think.