Conservation Conversation with Wilton Nsimango

Franklin Park Zoo

Thursday, August 29, 1:30 p.m.

Location: Meeting Barn
Event is included with paid Zoo admission. 

Featured Speaker: Wilton Nsimango, Education and Community Development Programs Manager at Painted Dog Conservation

Wilton’s work highlights the human side of wildlife conservation and the importance of ensuring that wildlife has value among stakeholders within the community.

About the Speaker:

Wilton Nsimango was born in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo. He attended both urban and rural schools growing up and after graduating high school, attended Gwanda Zintec College where he earned his teaching certificate. In 1997, after teaching at a variety of schools, he decided to go back to college at the University of Zimbabwe where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education Management, Policy and Planning. This led him to be appointed Deputy Headmaster and eventual Headmaster at the Sir Roy Welensky primary school. Forever the student himself, he further continued his education enrolling at the Zimbabwe Open University where he attained a Masters Degree in Education Management.

The year 2004, however, would become a new beginning for Wilton as he joined Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) situated on the periphery of the renowned Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Initially serving as their Environmental Officer, he became the Education and Community Development Programs Manager, a post that came natural to him and one he has ocupied for the past 11 years. Wilton developed and now oversees the world-class "Bush Camp" outdoor educational camp that teaches over 800 sixth-grade Zimbabwean students annually about their local ecology, the importance of painted dogs, and how PDC works to protect them. He also serves as PDC's community liason building relations with local elders, helping to build wells and community gardens, establishing conservation clubs in local schools, and assisting with human-wildlife conflict resolution.

Wilton Nsimango's work highlights the human side of wildlife conservation and the importance of making sure that wildlife has value in the eyes of local stakeholders. This combination of species research, rescue and rehabilitation, education and community engagement is what makes Painted Dog Conservation a model of comprehensive wildlife conservation.