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Wildlife Initiative Trust Africa

Wildlife Initiative Trust Africa

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Our Story: The Formation of WITA

Working with wildlife has long been a part of the Read family from the time of Paul Read (ex-National Parks Provincial Warden for Matabeleland North), who had his son Adrian follow in his footsteps as ex Senior Ranger for National Parks and Warden for Matetsi Safari Area. When Adrian had a son of his own, Shaun, he regularly took him along into the bush for school holidays, which subsequently sparked Shaun’s own passion for wildlife. After high school, Shaun began to pursue a career in the industry working in wildlife research, camps, assistant guiding and more, up until he was afforded the opportunity to go and study overseas.

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Conservation has run in our blood for three generations. This is Shaun and his Grandfather Paul before passing.

Four years later, Shaun returned home, mid-pandemic and completed the final portion of his degree, as many recent graduates did, in a 2-week quarantine back home in Victoria Falls. In the months that followed, the financial implications of the pandemic in Africa became shockingly apparent by the day, especially when contrasted to the privileged surroundings of the first world country Shaun had just spent four years in.

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Shaun in Elephant Collaring Operation

As a result of job loss and financial instability from the pandemic, both subsistence and syndicate poaching has risen significantly, proving fatal to many animals in the Victoria Falls and Hwange Area. In October 2021, on his first day working on a wildlife research project for an organisation in Victoria Falls, Shaun came across a freshly poached elephant. On his second day, he encountered a live giraffe with a snared limb, which resulted in a full day darting and treatment operation to release the giraffe from the snare. Having seen these two consecutive incidents, and stumbling across numerous snared carcasses throughout his time working in the area, Shaun decided he had to do something.

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Snared Hyena in Victoria Falls

These encounters prompted Shaun to sit down with Adrian, and it was here they decided to set up a Wildlife Trust to protect those who cannot protect themselves. By November 2021, The Wildlife initiative Trust Africa had been registered, standing to preserve and protect the pristine nature of Zimbabwe for the benefit of future generations.

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K9s and Handlers.

Our Logo: The Three Elephants

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Inspired by the work of his father and grandfather, as well as the prospects of his own contributions through the trust, Shaun designed this WITA logo to encompass a fitting representation of the three generations as well as the wildlife which the trust aims to protect.

As such, the leading elephant stands to represent Paul Read, the past generations and their contributions to wildlife; the middle elephant represents Adrian Read, current generations and their transfer of knowledge and skills to the final elephant, representing Shaun Read, future generations and their passion, drive and commitment to maintaining the efforts of those before them.

Our Vision:

To eradicate poaching of African wildlife so that future generations may experience an ecosystem portraying nothing but harmony for all wildlife across the continent.

Our Mission:

To protect and conserve endangered animal species in Africa. We aim to achieve this through creating and maintaining the coexistence of animals and humans through anti poaching efforts, research, education, and engagement of the local communities in our projects.