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EDMUND STREET: Honor swaps bank for the jungle life; Office worker off to Africa to study elephant droppings.

Byline: By Emma Cullwick

BANK worker Honor Shuttleworth is swapping her comfortable desk job in favour of two weeks in a west African mud hut examining elephant dung.

The 43-year-old, who works for the HSBC, in Edmund Street, Birmingham, is set to work as part of a conservation and research expedition looking for elephants and signs of the mammals in Ghana.

The expedition will see her tracking elephant movements and looking for signs of other mammals such as hartebeest, reedbuck, warthogs and buffalo, which have almost become extinct but could still be surviving in the remote parts she will visit.

She will also help to interview local hunters and farmers and map areas that have been raided by elephants.

And it's not just Africa that will be getting a helping hand from Honor. The single adventure seeker, from Dordon, near Tamworth, is also embarking on a conservation project at a school in Redditch.

Honor has secured a grant that will help her to overhaul a pond at Kingsley College that is currently overgrown with weeds and is starving wildlife of oxygen.

"I found out about the pond because my brother, Neil, is a teacher there," she said. "It's great to be able to give something back."

Living in a mud hut in Africa without electricity or water will be a far cry from her usual life as a human resources manager for HSBC.

"I'm excited but scared stiff at the same time," said Honor, who is one of just 500 out of 220,000 HSBC workers to apply for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The trips are part of a pounds 11 million, five-year partnership between HSBC and Earthwatch.

"This is a rare and special opportunity," added Honor, who leaves for Africa on November 26

CAPTION(S):

MISSION... Honor Shuttleworth, of the HSBC, leaves for Africa on November 26
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 9, 2005
Words:307
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