#16-Thandiwe Mweetwa: Big Cat Protector, Zambian Wildlife Biologist
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#16-Thandiwe Mweetwa: Big Cat Protector, Zambian Wildlife Biologist

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#16-Thandiwe Mweetwa: Big Cat Protector, Zambian Wildlife Biologist

Racing through the bush in a four wheel drive, a young wildlife biologist is on an urgent mission to track down a lion that has been caught in a poachers snare. It threatens to suffocate the cat if she doesn’t get there in time. It’s a daily battle for this young Zambian conservationist who has made it her life mission to save these large carnivores from extinction.

Thandiwe Mweetwa was only 12 years old when after the loss of both her parents she moved from a small town in southern Zambia to a rural area up north, to live with her uncle in her mother’s home village, Mfuwe.

Unknowingly at the time, this painful transition gave way to a new passion and future career. Thandiwe’s introduction to the wildlife previously only seen on TV or heard about in stories from her mother awakened something deep inside. The move would forever change her life and allow her to find her calling… becoming a senior wildlife biologist with the Zambian Carnivore Program.

Her mission — to ensure the survival of the big cats for generations to come.

Links & Information:
• National Geographic
◦ Emerging Explorer – Thandiwe Mweetwa: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/explorers-festival/2016/emerging-explorers/thandiwe-mweetwa/
◦ African Lion: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/african-lion/
• Conservation Work
• Lions, Conservation and Community, Zambia:
◦ Zambian Carnivore Program: https://www.zambiacarnivores.org/science

Special Thanks:
• Photos Provided by Martin Edstrom
• Sound Engineer – Burt Gregory

Show Highlights w/ Timestamps:
• Tragedy at a young age leads to true calling [5:27]
• Life changing experience and baptism by fire [7:29]
• Tandiwe joins a conversation club [11:24]
• Heart belongs to Zambia [13:44]
• Tandiwe explains poaching [16:31]
• Can you recall the first time you heard a lion roar? [19:31]
• Phil asks, Who is funny ear? [23:22]
• Children are the future [27:43]
• Conservation efforts, not only for the boys [29:34]
• Phil asks the question [35:00]

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