Ep 39: Sharon Haussmann – GKEPF and protecting wildlife in the Greater Kruger Area.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Sharon Haussmann. Sharon is the CEO of the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation or GKEPF, which was established to assist with protecting wildlife and combatting environmental crime across the region. Over the last four-plus years, Sharon has held multiple Chairperson positions at Balule Nature Reserve. She has strong roots in farming in the Lowveld, and has academic qualifications in engineering and conflict management.

In this conversation, we talk about Sharon’s early upbringing and her path into conservation. We dig into the history of the formation of Balule Nature Reserve. We go into her experience of the early days of the rhino poaching crisis and how it has evolved over time. We dive into the formation of GKEPF and the wide ranging work they are doing to coordinate partners and programs in an effort to protect wildlife. And we even spend time talking about the importance of rangers and our dear friend and fallen ranger, Anton Mzimba. She had some beautiful words to say about his life and memorial service. Throughout this episode, Sharon exudes passion, dedication, and love for the people and the work of conservation.

LEARN MORE
Website: gkepf.org
Instagram: @sharonhaussmann01 | @thegkepf
Facebook: @GKEPFoundation
Twitter: @gkepf
LinkedIn: @Sharon Haussmann | @GKEPF

Ep 38: Sophie Green – Photorealistic wildlife art, conservation, and creativity.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Sophie Green. Sophie is an award-winning conservation & wildlife artist from the UK, who specializes in capturing photorealistic details. Sophie has dedicated her time and artistic work to raising funds and awareness for issues surrounding animal welfare and the environment, and has worked closely with foundations such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and Explorers Against Extinction. Sophie was awarded the ‘medal of excellence’ by the Artists for Conservation foundation in 2021, was the winner of the Leisure Painter People’s Choice Award in 2020 and 2021, was runner-up in the BBC Wildlife Magazine People’s Choice, and was selected to be one of 20 Artists to exhibit at COP26 in the Blue zone.

In this conversation, we talk about Sophie’s winding journey into a career of painting and supporting conservation efforts. We dive into her challenges with selective mutism in her youth, and how she worked through her anxiety. We talk about her development as an artist, how she came back to art after a hiatus, and her leap from teacher to professional artist. We discuss Sophie’s recent Impermanence collection, her artistic style, her love of travel, and the impact she strives to have with her work. It was a wonderful wide-ranging conversation.

LEARN MORE
Website: sophiegreenfineart.com
Instagram: @sophiegreenfineart
Facebook: @sophiegreenfineart
Twitter: @sophiegreenart
LinkedIn: @Sophie Green Fine Art

Ep 37: David Fein – United for Wildlife, working to end IWT, and The Earthshot Prize.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with David Fein. David is currently the Chair of the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce, and the Vice Chair of The Earthshot Prize, the most prestigious global environment prize in history. He is also Special Counsel at the law firm Paul Weiss, and a Board Trustee of both The American Friends of The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales, and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. David has served as Associate White House Counsel under President Clinton; was an Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York; and was US Attorney for the District of Connecticut under President Obama.

In this conversation, we talk about David’s path from prosecuting federal cases to his current role in conservation. We dive deep into the work of United for Wildlife, the importance of fostering public-private partnerships, the urgent optimism inspired by The Earthshot Prize, and the launch of Project Anton. We go into David’s philosophies around work-life balance, finding purpose in your work or side-projects, and why you should try out the board game, Wingspan. David exudes joy and passion for his work, and inspires a vision for a purpose driven life.

LEARN MORE
Website: unitedforwildlife.org | earthshotprize.org
Instagram: @unitedforwildlife | @earthshotprize
Facebook: @UnitedForWildlife | @earthshotprize
Twitter: @united4wildlife | @earthshotprize
LinkedIn: @The Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales | @The Earthshot Prize | @David Fein

Ep 36: Peter Eastwood – Tanglewood, Koru Camp, and empowering wildlife communities.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Peter Eastwood. Peter is a retired entrepreneur from New Zealand working in conservation in Africa. He was the Founder of Imake a Difference Trust, which has raised funds for and supported many projects across Africa working to put an end to rhino poaching. He is also the founder of Tanglewood Foundation, which supports educational films and documentaries, including the film STROOP, and programs like school camps, the Albany Thicket Biodiversity Restoration Project, Coexistence Gardens, and Koru Camp; an immersive overnight camping experience for South African communities. He strives to live a principled life with purpose, and he is a plant based eater for the planet, animals, and better personal health.

In this conversation, we talk about Peter’s first trip to Africa and his path into conservation. We dive into his desire to make a difference, and the learning journey he went on along the way; from focusing on frontline and anti-poaching work, to shifting toward projects that engage the youth and local communities. We even spend time dissecting the process of bringing a documentary film to life. My favorite part of this conversation was our discussion around Koru Camp, and the impact overnighting in the bush for the first time has on young children and old grandmothers. Peter exudes passion and a boundless drive to make a difference.

LEARN MORE
Website: tanglewood.org.nz | korucamp.org
Instagram: @tanglewood_foundation | @korucamp
Facebook: @Tanglewood Foundation | @Koru Camp
Twitter: @distillerpete
LinkedIn: @Koru Camp | @Peter Eastwood

Ep 35: Grant Miller, MBE – ZSL, ranger support, trauma care, and a passion for conservation.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Grant Miller, MBE. Grant started his career in the military, and then moved to law enforcement where he worked in customs and border control in the UK predominantly in the area of narcotics trafficking. His last years of service were as the Head of the UK’s National CITES Enforcement Team and Chair of the Interpol wildlife crime working group. He now works as a Law Enforcement Specialist at the Zoological Society of London or ZSL.

In this conversation, we talk about Grant’s begrudging transition from law enforcement narcotics to a role in CITES enforcement, and why he eventually fell in love with it. We go deep into all of the wide ranging conservation and research projects that ZSL is involved in around the world. And we talk at length about the importance and challenges of rangers, spending a lot of time talking about trauma and mental health. So much passion, knowledge, and wisdom in this episode.

LEARN MORE
Website: zsl.org
Instagram: @officialzsl | @grantmiller69
Facebook: @officialzsl
Twitter: @officialzsl
LinkedIn: @Zoological Society of London (ZSL) | @Grant Miller MBE

Ep 34: Markus Hofmeyr – Rhino Recovery Fund, saving the rhinos, and epic translocations.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Markus Hofmeyr. Markus grew up in South Africa around wildlife. He started his career as a wildlife veterinarian, and at Madikwe Game Reserve he was responsible for the oversight and management of the largest wild mammal translocation to date, called “Operation Phoenix”. Markus was the General Manager of Veterinary Wildlife Services at SANParks, was the Chief Conservation Officer at Great Plains Conservation Foundation and Rhinos without Borders, and is now the Program Officer at Oak Foundation, and the Director of Rhino Recovery Fund.

In this conversation, we talk about the current state of rhino populations around the world and the poaching crisis. We dive into Markus’ early beginnings in conservation, and his in depth knowledge of wildlife translocation. We go deep into what it’s going to take to save the Sumatran rhinos, and he gives his thoughts and advice on working in conservation. If you love rhinos, this is the episode for you.

LEARN MORE
Website: rhinorecoveryfund.org
Instagram: @krugerwildvet | @rhinorecoveryfund | @oak_foundation
Facebook: @rhinorecoveryfund
Twitter: @rhinorecfund | @oakfnd
LinkedIn: @Oak Foundation

Ep 33: Benson Kanyembo – Protecting Zambia’s wildlife and training the next generation.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Benson Kanyembo. Benson was born in Kitwe, Zambia, the son of a policeman. He has devoted over 20 years of his life to protecting Zambia’s wildlife for future generations. In 1994, Benson started his career in wildlife enforcement as a scout for the North Luangwa Conservation Project (NLCP). From there, he’s worked for multiple organizations holding positions, which included village scout, community scout, and Senior Wildlife Police Officer. In 2009, Benson joined Conservation South Luangwa (CSL) as Operations Manager, and in 2018 was promoted to Law Enforcement Advisor. He now leads all CSL anti-poaching law enforcement and wildlife rescue operations. He has won the 2019 TUSK Wildlife Ranger Award, the 2020 Paradise International Foundation’s African Ranger Awards, and was nominated for Best Game Ranger in the 2020 Rhino Conservation Awards.

Benson is a great man of integrity and purpose, and throughout his career he has faced many challenges including hard physical labor, police corruption, an undeserved prison sentence, constant dangers in the bush, and much more. Through all of this he has managed to keep a mindset of constant growth and a spirit of dedication to the cause. I’m excited for you to learn from his powerful story.

LEARN MORE
Website: cslzambia.org
Instagram: @bensonkanyembo
Facebook: @Benson Kanyembo
Twitter: @KanyemboBenson
LinkedIn: @Benson Kanyembo

Ep 32: Dr. Timothy Wittig –  Intelligence, terrorist finance, and ending illegal wildlife trade.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Dr. Timothy Wittig. Tim is a conservationist, professor, and former defense intelligence analyst. He is a research fellow at Oxford University (Oxford Martin School), an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, and Head of Intelligence for both the Royal Foundation’s United for Wildlife Taskforces and the wildlife investigations charity Focused Conservation.

In this conversation, we dive into Tim’s early days growing up around nature in the outskirts of DC, his work that helped redefined the way agencies look at terrorist financing, and how his analysis during his time in Africa lead him into conservation. We talk about the first US National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking, the early days of the United for Wildlife Taskforces, and the work happening at Focused Conservation to bring wildlife traffickers to justice. So please, enjoy this wide-ranging, in-depth conversation with Tim.

LEARN MORE
Website: timothywittig.co
Instagram: @unitedforwildlife
Facebook: @FocusedConservation
Twitter: @focusedconserve
LinkedIn: @Timothy Wittig

Ep 31: Leitah Mkhabela – The Black Mambas, and the life of a female anti-poaching ranger.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Leitah Mkhabela. Leitah is a Supervisor and Media Officer for the Black Mambas. Founded in 2013 by Craig Spencer of Transfrontier Africa, the Black Mambas are South Africa’s first all female anti-poaching unit. They operate on the front lines of the Balule coalition of private game reserves on the western border of Kruger National Park. Leitah started her career as a Black Mamba in 2014. In 2020, she received a Ranger of the Year award by The International Paradise Foundation in China.

In this conversation, we talk about Leitah’s blossoming love for wildlife as a teen, her decision to become a ranger for the Black Mambas, and the challenges she faced from society as a woman going into this field. Leitah dives into her growth as a ranger, the dangers rangers face in the field, and the reasons the Black Mambas patrol in the bush unarmed. We go into depth on the role of a ranger, community engagement, and advice for women in conservation. We even talk about our dear friend, Leitah’s cousin, the late Anton Mzimba of the Timbavati—how he motivated Leitah and what it means to pick up the torch and continue his work.

LEARN MORE
Website: transfrontierafrica/the-black-mambas
Instagram: @theblackmambas
Facebook: @blackmambasapu
Twitter: @blackmambasapu
LinkedIn: @Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit

Ep 30: Charlie Mayhew, MBE – Founding Tusk, Wildlife Ranger Challenge, and Massive Impact.

Subscribe, Rate, and Listen to The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon today!

In this episode, I’m talking with Charlie Mayhew, MBE. Charlie is the Co-Founder and CEO of Tusk Trust. Their mission is to amplify the impact of progressive conservation initiatives across Africa. Charlie was educated at Wellington College, worked as a Lloyd’s Marine Insurance Broker while moonlighting as a DJ, is a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, and was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty The Queen. In 1990 he co-founded the charity, Tusk Trust, and under his stewardship it has since grown into a highly reputable and efficient UK conservation charity.

In this conversation we dive into Charlie’s path into conservation, including a 1985 expedition he led across Africa, and the film he co-produced which led to the foundations of Tusk. We take a winding path through all of the various organizations Tusk supports across Africa, dig into their ethos, and talk about the power of ambassadors including Tusk’s Royal Patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. And of course we explore the importance of rangers, and the amazing support for them through Tusk’s Wildlife Ranger Challenge and the Tusk Awards. Charlie has a captivating life story, and with over £100m raised since its inception, Tusk has had and continues to have massive impact on conservation and community development programs.

LEARN MORE
Website: tusk.org
Instagram: @charlie_mayhew | @tusk_org
Facebook: @tusk.org
Twitter: @MayhewCharlie | @tusk_org
LinkedIn: @Charlie Mayhew, MBE | @Tusk