Marking two years since the death of David Shepherd, DSWF founder
On this day two years ago, we sadly lost our founder and an iconic figure in wildlife conservation and art, David Shepherd. He is dearly missed by us all and by those he worked with and inspired around the world. Not long after David died in 2017, a little orphan was rescued and in honour of David was then named Mulisani (meaning ‘Shepherd’ in the local Ila language).
To mark this two-year anniversary of David’s death, and in DSWF’s 35th year, we are greatly honoured to announce that Game Rangers International, our long-term partners as a founding member, have decided to name the new wild elephant calf born last week to orphan rescue Chamilandu: Mutaanzi David, meaning ‘first born’ in Ila, and the second name in honour of the man whose life’s work gave Chamilandu a second chance and enabled this calf to enter the world.
This choice of name is particularly significant for DSWF as Chamilandu was mated on the very day that David Shepherd passed away, 19th September 2017. Today especially, DSWF stands together with all the rangers at GRI and conservationists around the world to pay our highest respects to them, as we remember our founder. David and the entire Shepherd family have dedicated their lives to funding wildlife conservation activities and it was through his vision that he founded the GRI – Elephant Orphanage Project in Kafue National Park, in order to give Zambia’s orphaned elephants a second chance for a life in the wild.
David is known throughout Zambia and the world for his incredible artwork and all he did for wildlife. He was often referred to by many as a ‘Zambian living in the UK’, including by his long-standing friend His Excellency, the first President of Zambia, Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
“The birth of Mutaanzi David is an amazing milestone for GRI. It is an event we have imagined for so many years and it has finally happened. It has been such a huge team effort at every level to reach this point and I am so proud to be working amongst such a dedicated and passionate team of rangers. This young calf is symbolic of our hopes for the future, in which humans and wildlife will co-exist and for which GRI strives for in supporting the bigger picture of conservation. He represents an 11-year journey which so many people in Zambia and around the world have shared and supported, including, most notably Mr David Shepherd. We are honoured that GRI can play a part in continuing with David’s amazing legacy as it lives and breathes in this young calf and every other elephant that his work has helped to protect.” Sport Beattie, Founder & CEO GRI.
To help ensure David’s legacy isn’t lost, please donate to support the work carried out in his name. You will be ensuring the care and protection of young elephants like Mutaanzi David and his mother Chamilandu in Zambia alongside other conservation projects in Africa and Asia.