Dr. Chris Foggin
Chris was born in Salisbury (now Harare), Zimbabwe, in 1947. After undertaking a first year BSc at Cape Town University in 1966, he was accepted into the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria, South Africa and completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree there in 1970. After five years in private, mixed veterinary practice in Zimbabwe and UK, he joined the Veterinary Research Laboratory (now the Central Veterinary Laboratory), in the Ministry of Agriculture in February 1976. He remained in the Government Veterinary Services from that date until his age-compulsory retirement in August 2012.
In 1989, the Wildlife Veterinary Unit (WVU) was formed within the Department of Veterinary Services, in response to a rapidly expanding wildlife industry in Zimbabwe. Dr. Foggin was appointed Head of this Unit, a position that he held until his retirement. This Unit remains responsible for wildlife diagnostic, regulatory, extension, research and conservation veterinary medicine work throughout Zimbabwe’s commercial wildlife properties, including wildlife conservancies, as well as within the Parks and Wildlife Estate. Dr. Foggin was the veterinarian attending to rhino veterinary requirements during the period 1996-2010. In this work, he had to perform some 1400 field immobilizations of black and white rhino for routine management operations as well as for translocations and treatments of snares and other injuries.
Dr. Foggin lectured in his first drugs course in 1980 and has attended every year since (33 years). Dr. Foggin was largely responsible for the organization of the Course, on behalf of the ZVA Wildlife Group, with volunteer conveners (e.g. Janine Honywill, Astrid Huelin, Roxy Danckwerts and Lorna York) from the 1990s to 2012. The Course has always been run in a relaxed atmosphere with good social bonding between lecturers and students, and year-to-year changes have been made in view of the lessons learned. The use of the Malilangwe venue has been the one major change that turned it from being a largely theoretical course to a highly practical one. Dr. Foggin, as a true “silver-back” and stalwart of the course, has been instrumental in bringing the course to its current status: diverse, professional, truly international and immensely practical.
Professor Brighton Dzikiti
Brighton Dzikiti is currently employed by the University of Pretoria as a lecturer in Veterinary Anaesthesia. He holds an Associate Professor rank and is also the head of the Vet Anaesthesia section at the University of Pretoria. He was born in Rusape, Zimbabwe in 1972. He obtained a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree from the University of Zimbabwe in 1997. Immediately after completing his undergraduate studies, he re-joined the University of Zimbabwe as a Clinical Assistant for one year In 2001, he obtained a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Veterinary Anaesthesia from Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
After a 2-year period of lecturing at the University of Zimbabwe, he left to join the University of Pretoria, where he has been lecturing Veterinary Anaesthesia since March 2003. He obtained PhD degree at the University of Pretoria in 2011 whose main research focus was intravenous anaesthesia in goats.
He has published at least 22 scientific papers in internationally recognised journals, presented at regional and international scientific conferences more than 35 times and has supervised a few postgraduate research projects at the University of Pretoria. He regularly reviews scientific manuscripts for at least five journals, including the Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia journal and the Journal of the South African Veterinary Association.
He has a keen interest on anaesthesia of wildlife species for surgical procedures performed under conventional hospital settings.
Dr. Columbus Chaitezvi
Columbus Chaitezvi holds a BVSc degree from the University of Zimbabwe with a post-graduate certificate on High Impact Diseases of Livestock from Onderstepoort. He attended the CPWRA course in 2012 and is now a licensed “Dangerous Drug” holder. Columbus is currently studying for a Masters in Business Adminstration through the Greater Zimbabwe University in Masvingo. His current employment is in the Division of Veterinary Field Services under the Government Veterinary Services (GVS) and Columbus, as a Chief Veterinary Officer, heads the Wildlife Veterinary Unit (WVU) – having done so since August 2012. Prior to this he worked as a Government Veterinary Officer (GVO) in various provinces. Columbus’s duties range from developing workplans for animal diseases surveillance in wildlife and reporting on progress at weekly, monthly and annual intervals, to developing and implementing training programmes for specialist wildlife work e.g. game capture. The GVS WVU provides support to the CPRWA course and Columbus is an integral part of the course in terms of teaching and assisting other course organisers.
Dr. Chap Masterson
Chap was born and raised in Zimbabwe with a livestock and game ranching background. He graduated from Vet school at Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria in 2001, before working as a wildlife veterinarian in South Africa through to 2011. He then moved back to Zimbabwe with his family as the veterinarian for the Lowveld Rhino Trust / International Rhino Foundation. In 2012, Chap founded the Zimbabwe Wildlife Veterinary Trust (ZWVT) dedicated to conservation in Zimbabwe with emphasis on promoting land-use harmonization and holistic productivity of ecosystems-wildlife-livestock-cropping; addressing conservation medicine and veterinary issues at the livestock-wildlife interface and, most importantly, promotion of sustainable participation of communities in conservation-based enterprise and natural resource management, particularly within Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs).
Dr. Michele Miller
Michele graduated with a Master’s and Ph.D. in Veterinary Science (Immunology) and a DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). She completed a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Florida-Gainesville. After veterinary school, Michele received a post-doctoral fellowship to work on cellular and molecular immunology of exotic species at the San Diego Zoo. Her career path has included diverse positions as veterinarian, conservation medicine researcher, and adjunct faculty at several universities and zoos including the Los Angeles Zoo, Busch Gardens-Tampa, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She has served on various committees in the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and is currently the U.S. veterinary advisor for the Black Rhinoceroses, Pygmy Hippopotamus, and Elephant Species Survival Plans, advisor for the International Rhino Foundation’s Research Council, and advisor on elephant and other TB issues for the U.S. Animal Health Association. Her current research involves anesthesia, physiology and infectious diseases of wildlife, especially rhino, elephant, and lion. Dr. Miller has been involved in conservation programs including desert pronghorn in Mexico and California condor reintroduction. During the course, she lectures on physiology, monitoring, and reptile/primate immobilization as well as helps teach laboratory techniques.
Dr. Peter Buss
Peter currently works for South African National Parks (SANParks) as a veterinarian with Veterinary Wildlife Services (WVS), based in the Kruger National Park. His duties range from managing the Veterinary Section to providing veterinary clinical support in the capture of animals, facilitating veterinary based research, implementing disease investigations and surveillance. The WVSs also provides wildlife-focused training for South African and international veterinary students and the treatment of animals injured due to human activities. Peter received his Veterinary Science degree from the University of Queensland in Australia (1985) and then commenced his veterinary career working in a mixed practice (companion and production animals) in Lismore, Australia. In 1988, he registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK and spent three years working as a locum in various practices in the south of England. Peter then travelled to South Africa in 1991 to study for a Master’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine, specializing in wildlife, with the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Onderstepoort. From 1993 to 1998, he worked at the National Zoo in Pretoria, initially as a veterinarian and later his responsibilities included those of General Curator. Peter left the zoo to join the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort. At first he worked in the Department of Pharmacology and after two years transferred to the Department of Medicine to teach anaesthesiology. In 2002, the realization of a lifelong ambition to work with free-ranging African wildlife came together with his appointment as a veterinarian in the Kruger National Park within WVS. At present Peter is studying for a PhD, current areas of interest include the investigation of novel agents for use in the immobilization of different species, especially lion, hyena, rhino and elephant, and investigating the epidemiology of Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in buffalo and lion. Specific focus areas include determining the prevalence and spread of BTB within KNP and developing diagnostic tests for use in lion and rhino. Peter Buss’s primary role as a lecturer in the Zimbabwe drugs course is to teach the fundamentals of physiology required for the immobilization of wildlife. He also assists in the practical training of participants in the many varied aspects of game capture (physical and chemical) which include pharmacology, darting systems, species specific requirements and management of immobilized animals.
Dr. Richard Hoare
Richard qualified as a veterinarian at the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Onderstepoort in 1978. His first job was with the Government Veterinary Service (Zimbabwe) based in Bulawayo and then private practice in Gaborone, Botswana. After this he moved into the wildlife field by doing a Masters degree in wildlife management in the UK (1988) and this kick-started a career in wildlife research. Following this, he worked in Kenya and then in Zimbabwe associated with the CAMPFIRE (Communal Area Management Program for Indigenous Resources) program, assisting districts with devolved wildlife authority to research and manage problem animals. During this time Richard completed a PhD in zoology at the University of Zimbabwe (1997). After a period as a private consultant based in Zimbabwe, especially working on human-elephant conflict issues across Africa, he moved to Tanzania. From 2004 -2013, Richard managed the only externally funded veterinary wildlife program in that country and a research laboratory in Serengeti National Park (www.wildlifevetprogramme.or.tz). In mid 2013, he returned to Zimbabwe. Richard first attended the wildlife capture course in 1992 when it was held in Harare. In the mid-1990s, he was chairman of the ZVA WLG (Zimbabwe Veterinary Association Wildlife Group) and negotiated Zimbabwe’s present dangerous drugs licensing scheme with the Medical Control Authority (1999). Once operations moved to Malilangwe in 2000, he attended several courses helping with student selection, organization, and practical work demonstrations and examining.
Dr. Markus Hofmeyr
Markus is the second youngest member of the Capture Course team. He graduated from Onderstepoort, starting his career fiddling with exotic animals at the Teaching Hospital. Locum employment on domestic animals was followed by 4 months in Canada learning how the far north do wildlife and domestic animal veterinary work. Soon thereafter, he was employed in the Madikwe Game Reserve, initially to manage and monitor predator introductions, then as field ecologist. Markus also carried out all the vet work for North West Parks during this time. He was part of Operation Phoenix, the largest translocation of wildlife done to date to one location (27 species, 8200 animals), to Pilansberg National Park. Markus joined SANParks in 1999, starting as junior vet in Kruger and working his way up to be Head of the Veterinary Wildlife Services, based in Kruger National Park. Dr. Hofmeyr is currently Chairperson of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park Veterinary subcommittee.
Markus’s main roles at the course:
- Supply funny videos,
- Lecture on species and
- Add to other lectures and learn from everyone there.
He is a pivotal person with regards practical training of students at the course.
Dr. Michael D. Kock
Born in South Africa but raised in Zimbabwe, Mike qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London University, UK in 1976. He has been involved in the Zimbabwe Wildlife Capture course for 20 + years, not as long as Dr. Chris Foggin but they can count themselves as amongst the “silverbacks”! Dr. Kock has been a wildlife veterinarian for over 32 years and this experience is put to good use at the course. He is senior Editor of the manual “Chemical and Physical Restraint of Wild Animals” along with Dr. Richard Burroughs. The seed for this manual was sown in the early days of the Zimbabwe course, and the manual and its contents have been nurtured by the course and individual experiences by other wildlife veterinarians, over the last 20 years. This is an excellent course and Mike feels it is a privilege to be involved, especially interacting with other colleagues who have a wealth of wildlife experience and stories! Over the years the course participants have increased in diversity ranging from colleagues from Kenya through to China – this places the Zimbabwe Course apart from other similar courses in Africa and gives Mike immense pleasure to see the course mature in this way.
Dr. Jacqueline La Grange-Mostert
Jacque was born and bred in Zimbabwe. After secondary school, she worked in veterinary clinics (in the capacity as a veterinary nurse) for a year getting some hands-on experience. She then moved to Botswana to assist in the running of a wildlife orphanage in the Chobe National Park and also to spearhead a wildlife and environmental conservation program aimed at primary and secondary school children in the Chobe District. Whilst Jacque worked, she began studying a UNISA (South Africa) course in Environmental Management (Zoology Stream) and she completed her first year. Before she finished, she was offered a position to work in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania with the Black Rhino Project run by Dr. Pete Morkel. Whilst in Tanzania she also applied to the Veterinary School at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), she was offered a position. Jacque graduated after 5 years and during this time met Joshua (Josh) Mostert and they were engaged the week that she graduated. After their wedding, Jacque and Josh returned to Zimbabwe to work for the family-run business, AWMC (Africa Wildlife Management and Conservation). AWMC are an integral part of the Malilangwe Course and have been for many years.
Josh was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1980. He comes from a family with a strong conservation background in Southern Africa and growing up on the farm Joshua always had dreams of one day becoming a Game Ranger/Wildlife Conservationist. He also had a desire to become a Veterinarian but had never been able to pursue it. In early 2006, Josh decided to go touring overseas, which is where he met Mike La Grange in the UK. After spending a few months overseas, he returned to Africa via Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and finally Zimbabwe. Upon arriving in Zimbabwe in late 2006, Josh became keenly involved in the newly formed AWMC (African Wildlife Management & Conservation) and he has been with the company ever since. Josh is now a company director and shareholder. He is also interested in Human Wildlife Conflict and Problem Animal Control and has worked on various related projects with a number of NGO′s in Zimbabwe. He has been involved with the Dangerous Drug’s Course since he first came to Zimbabwe in 2006. Josh is married to Jacque La Grange and they both hold strong Christian values living with their children on a small farm just outside Harare.
Dr. Richard Burroughs
Richard is the currently the Director of the Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies (CVWS), Faculty Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria. The CVWS manages the clinical wildlife veterinary cases that come into the Veterinary Academic Hospital, as well as the managing of undergraduate and post-graduate wildlife training. The CVWS assists in the facilitation of wildlife and “One Health” research and training programs within UP, as well as local, regional and international organizations. Richard is involved in activities of the OIE Collaborating Centre for Integrated Wildlife and Livestock Training, as well as active involvement in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park activities and the associated AHEAD program, and those of the Mapungubwe Transfrontier Park (Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa). The Director of the CVWS manages the Peace Parks Foundation Transfrontier Veterinary Program as well. He has worked in the Import Export Policy Unit of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Veterinary Services) as a Chief State Veterinarian. Prior to that, he was the Director of a number of small niche market companies that service the wildlife industry and conservation world in general. He has been involved in many aspects of the wildlife industry – from provision of skilled professional clinical veterinary services to providing management and specific conservation consultancy services. Richard has experience and detailed knowledge of the national regional and international (OIE) regulations involved in disease control, for example, Foot and Mouth Disease, Tuberculosis, Brucella, Corridor Disease. He has a long history and interest in wildlife veterinary medicine, with extensive clinical experience in dealing with a wide variety of wild animals under translocation or quarantine conditions. He has been involved in the design and construction of holding facilities for a number of kinds of African wildlife and has contributed to the setting of standards on these for the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). He has presented numerous professional and lay continuing education courses, as well as presentations at scientific meetings. He has been involved in the Zimbabwe Capture Course for more than 15 years.
Dr. Dave Cooper
After a short stint as a student in the Kruger National Park, Dave qualified as a Veterinarian at Onderstepoort in 1981. At that time the Game Industry was still in its infancy and after unsuccessfully applying for a position with various formal Conservation agencies in Southern Africa, he resigned himself to mixed animal practice in the Eastern Cape. In 1993, Dave’s ambition to work exclusively with wildlife was finally realized when he joined the then Natal Parks Board as a wildlife veterinarian, a dream come true! Dave still holds that position in what is now known as Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Ezemvelo annually capture and translocate a range of different species from a dozen different reserves in Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN). These reserves stretch from the Drakensburg Mountains into the savannah and coastal plains of Northern KZN. One of his major functions is to contribute towards game capture operations and to assist in setting standards for all aspects pertaining to the immobilization, capture, holding in captivity and transportation of game animals. Of special interest are black rhino and a more recent highlight has been Dave’s involvement in the relocation of over 150 black rhino to nine different localities as part of the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion program. Other activities include the implementation of disease surveillance programs, facilitating and implementing research and monitoring programs, providing training for undergrad and post grad veterinary students, and the treatment of priority species usually injured due to human intervention. Of special mention was a consultancy to the Madhya Pradesh (India) Forestry Department, which involved the training and development of a Veterinary component that culminated in the historic relocation of 50 Gaur (Bos gaurus gaurus) from Kanha National Park to Bandhavgarh National Park.
Dave’s role in the Zimbabwe drugs course is to lecture on a few of the key species and focus on applying the theoretical knowledge to the more practical aspects of wildlife immobilization and capture. He has been involved in the course for several years.
Dr. Pete Morkel
Pete was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in that country. He qualified as a Veterinarian in 1984 from Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Starting in 1986, Pete was with the Game Capture Team of the Directorate of Nature Conservation in Namibia for 4 years and then 2 years as wildlife vet in Etosha National Park. He then worked as a private wildlife vet in Namibia for two years before moving to Kimberley in South Africa in 1994. His new position was with South African National Parks (SANParks) as wildlife veterinarian for all the protected areas in South Africa, excluding Kruger NP. After seven and a half years in that position, Pete worked one year as a private wildlife veterinarian before moving to Tanzania in 2002 to run the rhino project in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania for six years for Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS). Since then Pete has been doing freelance wildlife veterinary work based out of Kakamas in the Northern Cape in South Africa. Most of his experience is with the capture and translocation of large mammals particularly black rhino, of which he is recognized as a world expert. With his FZS and freelance work, Pete has travelled to sixteen African countries working on, for example, Giant sable in Angola to elephants in Zakouma NP in Chad. His interests lie in the physiology and pharmacology of immobilization, and Pete has been involved in the Zimbabwe Course since the early 1990s. He is one of the younger “silverbacks” of the course!
Mike la Grange
Mike was born and schooled in Mutare, Zimbabwe, living on a farm outside of town where he developed bush skills as a child. He went onto Gwebi Agricultural College and attained a Diploma in Agriculture. From there Mike joined the then Dept of Internal Affairs as an Agricultural officer where he spent more time dealing with Problem Animal Control (PAC) issues and setting up a small game project than farming. Mike finally transferred to the Dept of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) where he spent the next 18 years. Interestingly, Mike seemed destined to become involved with Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) issues and he was responsible for developing new strategies to control quelea. During this time he attained a certificate in Field Ecology at the University of Zimbabwe. Finally, Mike was made in-charge of a fully integrated Management Unit within DWNP, dealing with all wildlife management issues that included culling and translocation. Perhaps Mike’s greatest strength was to think out of the box and this has led to many new management concepts/tools being developed, three of which have been patented. He was fortunate to be involved right from the start in the science of capture/translocation so Mike developed new technologies as he went on. He left Parks in 1990 and started his own capture company which he ran until 2007, handing it down to his sons and daughter, who still operate African Wildlife Management and Conservation (AWMC) today. While Mike remains a Director, he diverts his attentions more to HWC issues and continues innovate with new ideas through training programs mostly sponsored by NGO’s, for example, Ambero, SRN, FAO, EU, Red caps and CIRAD. Mike has written several books on capture and hunting ballistics: The Capture Care and Management of Wildlife, Ballistics in Perspective, the FAO Toolkit (HWC mitigation methods) as well as relevant chapters in the Chemical and Physical Restraint of Wildlife: Game Ranch Management; Physical Capture and Restraint of Animals and the Feathered Locust. Presently Mike is a consultant specialising in the management of wildlife in the area of capture and translocation, captive breeding and mitigating HWC at the agricultural/wildlife interface. He is currently researching and developing new techniques and strategies, for exampl,e the mhiripiribomber™ and ambushchillibomber™ to mitigate problem elephant at the wildlife/human/crop interface.
Mike through AWMC has been, along with his family, an integral and essential part of the CPRWA course. He has been part of a strong team where interesting and often new ideas have been put into practice, making the course unique where veterinarians and non vets operate well together as a team, understand and respect each other.
Nicholas la Grange (NJ)
NJ was born in July 1977 to Mike and Cathy la Grange. Mike was working for the Department of Wildlife and National, which certainly gave rise to his interest in the bush and wildlife. When NJ saw the first helicopter that was used for game capture, he instantly knew what he wanted to do – become a helicopter pilot! Many years later the dream was realized and NJ currently flies for the family business, which has changed over the years to become what is now known as African Wildlife Management & Conservation (AWMC).
The team also consists of Mike, Josh Mostert, Jacque la Grange (NJ’s sister, who is a wildlife vet) and Chris Brice, as well as a small number of dedicated staff. The AWMC team has been involved in the Malilangwe Course since its inception and NJ has provided both helicopter and ground support.
John was educated in Zimbabwe. He is an engineer and has been involved in the transport, construction and mining industries since 1983, he started his own mining operations in 1995. As an aside, John learnt to fly helicopters in the same year and owns a R44 helicopter. He started doing conservation work with the Lowveld Rhino Trust in 2000, working with Raoul du Toit and Dr. Chris Foggin. He joined the drugs course in 2002 as team helicopter pilot, playing a significant role in providing expert piloting for the course with his R44. John disinvested from mining industry in 2008 due to economic situation in Zimbabwe. In 2011, he was appointed CEO of Falcon College (a renowned public school in Zimbabwe) to assist with new developments at the College, which included bringing the Bushtick Mine back into production.
In 2012, with an improving business climate, he returned to mining industry in Zimbabwe. Currently John has three major projects based on waste dump beneficiation. He is Managing Director of three mining companies, two belonging to the same group, and the third associated with Falcon College and an Australian public company Prospect Resource, who will be mining the Bushtick resource.
John has always had a passion for the bush, wildlife and conservation. He has contributed in whatever way possible to help bona fide conservation organizations in Southern Africa. John is a Trustee of the African Wildlife Conservation Fund and has been involved in black rhino conservation in Zimbabwe since 2000, working with all the black rhino populations in Zimbabwe. He has set up an independent Trust, which will benefit from the sale of by-products from waste beneficiation projects, whose beneficiaries will be the Lowveld Rhino Trust, African Wildlife Conservation Fund and the Zimbabwe Wildlife Veterinary Trust. John is a very modest person but he has quietly contributed to making the course one of the premier in the world. He provides a mature and steady hand, both in the air and on the ground!
Ruth Dabbs is a Registered General Nurse who did her training at Bristol Royal Infirmary in the UK. She is a Founder Member of MARS (Medical Air Rescue Service) and studied and worked on the Basic Ambulance Course for one year before pursuing a career as wife and mother. Ruth is still the MARS Emergency contact person for the Lowveld. In 2010, Ruth started working at The Malilangwe Trust as a medic, where she also does first aid training and demonstrations to the staff of The Malilangwe Trust and the participants of the annual Dangerous Drugs course.