Tribute to a hero of conservation: Ian Player

The 30th of November 2014 is a sad day in South Africa’s conservation story, with the passing of one of this country’s most influential environmental activists, Dr. Ian Player, at the age of 87.

Dr. Player was the driving force behind so many of South Africa’s crucial conservation successes, from saving the southern white rhino from extinction to protecting the dunes of Lake St. Lucia from being mined, but his most important legacy is probably the establishment of a network of organisations dedicated to the protection of the world’s wilderness areas.

Many of the wonderful reserves we so love to visit are what they are today due to this visionary man’s hard work and ethos, and we owe him a personal word of gratitude. Our upcoming visits to uMkhuze, Imfolozi and iSimangaliso will be especially poignant.

Please visit the website “Ian Player, A voice from the Wilderness” for a precis of his life’s work and achievements.


22 thoughts on “Tribute to a hero of conservation: Ian Player

  1. Pingback: Ian Player on the African Wilderness | de Wets Wild

  2. Pingback: In the rhinos’ home at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi | de Wets Wild

  3. perdebytjie

    Ek haal my hoed af vir hierdie man.Dit was seker bitter vir hom om te sien hoe sy jare se harde werk in die modder gly,met die uitwissing van renosters.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MJF Images

    It will take much more of his type of dedication to keep wild elephants, rhinos, tigers, etc. around. The odds are indeed against us, but without efforts like he put forth, there is no hope. We need to end poaching now because the efforts to reverse the exponentially increasing demand are only the long term answer. They will turn out to be moot if we don’t halt the supply side…now!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just Another Nature Enthusiast

    What a remarkable man. I read this after visiting one of your earlier post about elephants.

    It seems appropriate to cut and past the comment I left you here as well:

    There was a news story this evening(11-30-14) about a former NBA star named Yao Ming who is on a mission to end illegal animal trade. He is actively involved with WildAid.
    WildAid is the only organization to focus on reducing the demand for wildlife products. WildAid works with hundreds of Asian and Western political figures, celebrities and business leaders, including the Duke of Cambridge, Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, Edward Norton and Sir Richard Branson, to dissuade people from purchasing endangered wildlife products. WildAid’s public service messages and educational initiatives reach hundreds of millions of people per week in China alone through donated media space. “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

    Have you heard of this organization?

    The goal to convince consumers NOT to support ivory trade makes sense, in conjunction with efforts being made in Elephant/Rhino sanctuaries.

    Hopefully, efforts like this will help keep Dr. Player’s convictions and work moving forward.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      You’re so right Jane. Just to repeat my comment on the other post as well:

      “The WildAid advertisements with Yao Ming is also aired on South African television channels, and we agree with the message entirely. As long as the market for wildlife products exist, all the hard work and sacrifice of those trying to protect these precious animals will come to naught.”

      If Dr. Player’s activism teaches us one thing, it will be to keep persevering against all odds.



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