PERSONALITIES INVOLVED

TED & MICK REILLY 

The Reilly’s are the custodians of the Back to Africa roan that came from the United Kingdom and Czech Republic
Ted is a  legend of African conservation.


The Reilly family can take the credit for what conservation in Eswatini is today. Against all odds they have created and preserved Eswatini’s big Game parks turning them into world class tourist destinations. 


Ted and Mick  run Big Game Parks Swaziland. Teds father was a tin miner in the Ezulwini valley during the time of the first world war. The family farm Mlilwane  was the beginning of conservation in Eswatini with the young Ted Reilly stocking it with a variety of game species. Big Game Parks runs    the Kings reserve Hlane as well as Mkhaya and Mlilwane  and is the CITES authority in the Kingdom. Their record of rhino conservation is outstanding and well recognized globally. 


Mickey his son follows in his father’s footsteps managing Big Game Parks Reserves and is actively involved in ensuring Eswatini’s animals are safe from poachers.
 

IAN CRAIG OBE

Ian introduced Back to Africa to Ol Pejeta who received the Northern White Rhino’s. he worked closely on this project and has involved Back to Africa in other Kenyan conservation projects.

Ian  is  a legend in Kenyan Conservation. He was brought up on Lewa Downs in the Laikipia area of Kenya. Lewa is now one of the famous Kenyan conservation success stories and an epicentre of Rhino conservation in Kenya.

 

He is now the conservation director for the Northern Rangelands Trust  which pioneers community based conservation in Africa. He is pivotally involved in saving the highly endangered Hirola antelope in Northern Kenya at the Ishaqbini sanctuary. Ian is now a board  member of the Kenya Wild Life Service conservation committee.

 DR JOHN KNOWLES OBE

John was instrumental in making roan and sable available for Back to Africa’s antelope projects.

He was the founder of the Marwell Zoological Park in Winchester in the United Kingdom.

 

His passion for African hoofstock and his vision that zoo animals should play a role in conservation led him to facilitate antelope reintroductions in Africa.  His exceptional zoological knowledge resulted in him being awarded an honorary doctorate.

The Roan antelope, reintroduced to Eswatini , Scimitar horned oryx and the famous Przewalski's wild horse, are among the animals that have benefited from John's efforts.

MIKE PRETTEJOHN

Mike is the reason for Back to Africa’s involvement in the mountain bongo restoration process.

Ex professional hunter turned conservationist Mike is another Kenyan legend. He presently runs the

 

Bongo surveillance project in Kenya and is spearheading Bongo conservation and restoration in Kenya's forests. 

RICHARD VIGNE

Richard is the CEO of Ol Pejeta Ranch in Kenya that is the jewel of Kenyan conservation and agriculture. Ol  Pejeta is a world-famous ecotourism destination holding Kenya’s largest population of black rhino. It is also Kenya’s most famous Boran cattle stud farm. 

 

Ol Pejeta have been the custodians of the last Northern White Rhinos providing them with the utmost care and safety.

PREMYSL RABAS  &

JAN STEJSKAL

Přemysl cooperated with Back to Africa on the transportation of the Northern White Rhinos to Ol Pejeta and helped even with the transportation of the Black Rhinos to Mkomazi.

 

He had served as the director of Zoopark Chomutov in the Czech Republic and later he became the director of Dvůr Králové Zoo, one of the best breeders of African ungulates outside of Africa. His passion for African wildlife led him to being a strong supporter of reintroductions from zoos to Africa and to involvement of the zoo even in other Back to Africa's conservation projects.

Jan has been working in the field of environment and conservation for two decades, initially as a journalist focused on conservation issues and now as the Director of Communication and International Projects at Dvůr Králové Zoo. Apart from other projects, he has been coordinating the efforts to save the Northern White Rhino.

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