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Peter Blinston - The Painted Dogs of Zimbabwe

  • Kepler's Books 1010 El Camino Real Menlo Park, CA 94025 (map)
Photo Credit: Nick Dyer

Photo Credit: Nick Dyer

Wildlife conservationist Peter Blinston will discuss his lifelong mission to save the highly endangered painted wolves (also known as painted dogs) of Zimbabwe. Peter’s work was recently the subject of the BBC Earth television series, “Dynasties” with David Attenborough.

While working with the BBC on the Dynasties documentary, Peter was inspired to write Painted Wolves, A Wild Dog’s Life with friend and photographer, Nick Dyer. This stunning book captures his work designing some of the world’s most successful conservation techniques and innovative community engagement programs.

Born and raised in England, Peter became fascinated with the painted dogs at age eight while watching a Jane Goodall documentary on the BBC. He eventually moved to Zimbabwe determined to save this highly endangered species.

Peter realized that the only way to protect the painted wolves was to convince the local people that if they honored and respected the painted dogs, their own lives would improve as a result. He founded the Painted Dog Conservation which now has 60 employees from the local villages and programs including:

  • The Iganyana Children’s Bush Camp which teaches students to respect and appreciate their local eco-systems and wildlife

  • Numerous health clinics that combat the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in the area

  • Community organic gardens which provide healthy meals

  • Wells that deliver clean water

  • Anti-poaching units that collect deadly snare wire from the bush

  • The Iganyana Arts and Crafts Center that employs local artists to turn captured snare wire into beautifully sculpted art pieces with the proceeds going back to the project to help the painted dogs (several pieces have been auctioned at Christie’s in London).

  • A rehabilitation center for injured and sick wildlife

Through PDC’s efforts, painted dog populations are slowly increasing after hitting an all-time low of only 6,500 dogs worldwide.

As you can imagine, Peter has many stories to tell – join us for an unforgettable evening on May 23rd!