Peter Blinston - Painted Wolves (Corte Madera Store)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 7:00pm

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 featured in the BBC Earth television series, “Dynasties” with David Attenborough.

Peter was born and raised in England and first became fascinated with the painted dogs at age eight while watching a Jane Goodall documentary.  He eventually moved to Zimbabwe where he lived out of a broken-down truck existing only on canned beans and sustained by his passion and determination to save the painted dogs. At the time, the majority of dog deaths in Zimbabwe resulted from human ignorance and perceptions of the painted dogs as pests, resulting in them being snared, run over by cars, and shot. Peter realized that the only way to protect this endangered species was to convince the local people that if they honored and respected the painted dogs, their own lives would improve as a result. Now, 20 years later, Painted Dog Conservation has grown into a world-class NGO with thousands of supporters around the globe. Through PDC’s efforts, painted dog populations are slowly increasing from an all-time low of only 6,500 dogs worldwide.

In 2014 an extraordinary opportunity arose for Peter when the BBC approached him and asked for his guidance and expertise in producing a documentary about painted dog families.  That episode of “Dynasties” premiered in the U.K. last year and can now be seen on BBC America in the U.S.  And it inspired Peter to write his book, Painted Wolves, A Wild Dog’s Life with award-winning photographer, Nick Dyer.

Peter will discuss how his passion for the painted dogs motivated him to design some of the world’s most innovative and successful conservation techniques, all with community engagement in mind, including:
•    The Iganyana (“painted dog” in the local Ndebele language) Children’s Bush Camp which teaches the 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

As you can imagine, Peter has many stories to tell!

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925