We’re very proud of the talent, skill, knowledge, and dedication demonstrated by every single member of our team. Here are the faces behind Painted Dog Conservation:
Peter first learned of the plight of the African wild dog as an eight-year-old boy growing up in England. He moved to Zimbabwe 20 years ago to help establish Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) with his rare combination of passion, inter personal skills, business and management skills.
Peter has guided the development and execution of programs to address the threats directly impacting upon the painted dogs including the deployment of anti poaching units to the world-class Iganyana Children’s Bush Camp. He has hired a capable and dedicated team of local staff, who also are playing a critical role in changing local attitudes towards conservation.
When Peter takes on a new initiative, it will be done well, with full regard for the complexities of doing conservation in Zimbabwe. Peter also is highly regarded by his peers as an effective manager who is rigorous about producing outcomes.
David joined Painted Dog Conservation in 2015. He has a Bachelors Degree in Nature Conservation, from Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa. He joined us having had eight years experience as an Estate Manager at the Glenburn Lodge in South Africa.
David grew up at Umtchibi Camp, in Hwange National Park with his father and he recalls his father telling him if he remembered the times in Mana Pools when they stayed in a house with a drum as a door with lions roaring outside. David grew up around wildlife and has as great passion for conservation.
He has great pedigree as well to combine with his experience of Wildlife and Habitat Management, Human Resource Management, Training and Development, Project Management and Research and Monitoring.
David has also taken up a fundraising role in the organisation attending the WCN expo in USA to bolster the long term financial sustainability of the organisation as he directly manages and deals with day to day matters of PDC.
Dominic Joe Nyathi
Conservation and Community Liaison Manager
Dominic is a former teacher and has over 10 years of experience in community relations and education. Since joining Painted Dog Conservation in 2010, he has overseen the day-to-day running of conservation clubs in local schools surrounding Hwange National Park. Over the years, Dominic has worked with both adults and children from these areas coming up with conservation programs that help the communities to appreciate nature, wildlife and minimise poaching activities. He holds a Bachelor of Educational Administration Planning and Policy Studies degree, a Better Environmental Science Certificate, as well as a Teaching certificate. He has also completed several courses that include Economic Tools for Conservation with University of California, Berkeley and Environmental, Sustainable Education with Rhodes University in South Africa and Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (EWCL) in Florida.
Anti-Poaching Unit Manager
Joined Painted Dog Conservation in 2010 after retirement from the police force where he had served for twenty-five years. He has vast experience that includes horseback patrols, command and control, Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT), crime prevention, detection and investigation. He is the man in charge of scheduling and organising bush patrols for the APU to remove snares and releasing snared animals. Under his capable leadership and generous support from our supporters, Enock has overseen the expansion of our APU to include K9 patrol dogs. He has also presided over the formation of community volunteer APU in Mabale and Dopota.
Education and Community Development Programs Manager (ECDPM
Hailing from Bulawayo, the second largest city of Zimbabwe, Wilton joined PDC in 2004 after serving in the education sector for 17years. He was first appointed Environmental Education Officer and in 2008 he was promoted to his current position charged with designing and implementing a new brand of world-class standard conservation education for the Iganyana Children’s Bush Camp and local schools. Wilton is a qualified trained teacher. He holds several degrees and a M.S. in Education Management. His vision is to improve the conservation education discipline and help kids to understand the relationship between the traditional and modern trends of conservation so that they play their role in protecting wildlife.
Iganyana Arts & Crafts Coordinator
Wendy began doing fund raising for what was eventually to become PDC, as far back as 1995. In 1997 she was granted a year’s leave from her job in the U.S. and came to Zimbabwe to assist in the early organisation of the project. By 2002 she was asked to return and set up a project that would bring sustainable income into the artists and crafts people in the Dete area. One outcome of that was the development of snare wire art, which has become world famous. In 2004 she moved to Dete and spend the following 12 years growing and establishing a wide range of products that are marketed at zoos around the world. Wendy is also now assisting conservation education in the district, funding school fees, scholarships, aiding with materials for PDC school Conservation Club activities. She now resides in California making an annual visit to PDC Iganyana Arts Centre.
Agnes is also another local individual employed by Painted Dog Conservation. She comes from Makwandara village, one of the areas in our core operating area. She was appointed as the Supervisor for Iganyana Arts Center in 2004 when it opened. Most of her duties are based on day-to-day running of the business, which includes instructing the 24 artisans and 70 basket weavers in the local community at Lupote and Sianyanga Villages and coordinate orders with over the border customers. She is inspired by how the painted dogs live by team work and she has made sure it is replicated with the artisans and other team members of the Iganyana Arts Centre.
Doubt joined Painted Dog Conservation in 2003 after working as a tour guide for 4 years. He got interested in PDC through distributing our sighting sheets to tourists at his former workplace. It was not long before we realised his true passion and skill, which is building, and he got promoted to second in charge to the Maintenance Manager. As a trained guide he also taught at the Children’s Bush Camp in 2004 when it opened. In the coming years he shared his time between building and Bush Camp guiding until 2010. He decided to be full time into building and maintenance work as PDC expanded which he has been very instrumental at.
Jealous Mpofu joined PDC as a tracker in May 1998.Since then he has been a constant force, absolutely devoted to the painted dogs. Tasked with keeping track of the various packs of painted dogs in our immediate area, his job is arguably one of the most challenging and significant. He drives out each day, confident in his acquired abilities with radio telemetry, his expert tracking, his inherent bush skills and his intimate knowledge of the painted dogs behaviour. He always finds them, and will often camp out in the bush for several days until he sees them, particularly when he knows there may be an injured dog in the pack. They are “his dogs”; he knows each one, how they move, and when there might be something wrong. If he spots an injury he calls for assistance and leads Peter or the vet to the dogs so that they can treat its wounds. Jealous has received recognition, being awarded both the Disney Wildlife Conservation Hero Award and the Van Tienhoven Award for Conservation. For Jealous, every dog matters. He has literally saved the lives of dozens of dogs through his dedication and commitment and each honour is well deserved.
Last loves Land Rovers and he makes sure all the Painted Dog Conservation vehicles are up and running and most importantly reliable for all weather painted dog rescue missions that may arise. He joined PDC in 2008 after working for 14 years as a mechanic at a Land Rover specialist in Bulawayo. He now has over two decades of experience and is grooming other young men to take up careers in his line of work. He is so meticulous with his work and makes sure no unnecessary breakdowns that can threaten the life of a painted dog.
Senior Tour Guide & Front Office Manager
Maria is a living true testimony of changing lives through conservation. From a roadside basket vendor to a top tour guide, Maria joined Painted Dog Conservation in 2004 when the Bush Camp opened. She worked very hard that when our Visitors Centre opened in 2007 she applied for the position at the front desk and Peter gave her a chance to prove herself. She took a training course for administration and reception work. She tells the Eyespot with a passion, which is the central theme of our Visitors Centre. She is very hospitable and makes our visitors feel at home giving them a tour of our wonderful facilities. In her own words she says “From being nothing I have travelled a long journey to a better life, thanks to Painted Dog Conservation”
Ganizani joined Painted Dog Conservation in 2010. Originally from Hwange District, he has a rich track record in teaching, children and wildlife. Ganizani enrolled with Gwanda Zintec College 1982 for a teaching training. In 1986 he graduated with a Certificate In Education from the University of Zimbabwe as the awarding body. He taught in various schools in Matabeleland North province in the Lupane and Hwange Districts during which he gained a lot of knowledge in disseminating information to children. In 2001 he obtained a Learner Professional Hunter’s license and worked as a Learner Professional guide conducting game drives into Hwange National Park. In 2003 he joined Christian Care organisation as their Project Officer based in Binga implementing the World Food Programme and Water, Sanitation and Health programs. Before joining us, Ganizani was working with the Elephant Experience as a guide into the Zambezi National Park.
Iganyana Arts Centre Clerk
Itai comes from Mabale village, the first community to form a volunteer community anti-poaching unit team to assist Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) in dealing with poaching. She joined PDC’s Iganyana Arts and Crafts Centre in 2006 when she was 19 years old. She did a computer course at Painted Dog Conservation Bush Camp. Now a mother of one, she has gained a lot of experience and enjoys doing her job, “Spreading the message of conservation through art”. She has also been advancing herself and currently undertaking an undergraduate degree in Human Resources Management with Lupane State University.
Marketing & Communications
Ronnie is passionate about wildlife and how painted dogs have helped transform and develop communities around Hwange National Park through Painted Dog Conservation. He joined Painted Dog Conservation in 2017 with a vision to amplify calls to the rest of the world for the protection of the painted dog and save it from extinction. He holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Media and Society Studies degree. As a young local man he speaks all 4 local dominant languages namely Nambya, Tonga, Ndebele and Shona. He has helped to develop and implement a Marketing and Communications strategy for PDC and helps manage our social media platforms and website. In his own words he says “With more still to learn and experience, l have since found my place and role in saving the painted dog and i love it”.
our Board of Trustees
Chairperson: Mr Jerry Gotora
Vice-Chairperson: Dr Gibson Mandishona
Secretary / Treasurer: Catherine Kanhema - Blinston
Board Member: Chief J B Nelukoba
our Scientific Advisors.
Professor Claudio Sillero
Dr Esther van der Meer
Dr Hillary Madzikanda
Dr Mathieu Bourgarel
Dr Herve Fritz