Hey, everyone! Welcome to Episode 1 of Rewildology! I thought it was only right to kick off this show with my first guest, Bill Given of The Wild Source. Bill is a mentor of mine and a huge reason why I am where I am today. We chat about how his company is disrupting the safari industry, how to persevere through a global pandemic that practically shuts down your business, and that it’s okay to change your career and pursue what feels right for you no matter your age or college degree. So, who’s Bill and why is he awesome?
Working for more than two decades as a Wildlife Biologist, Bill has conducted studies on a
diverse array of species ranging from endangered butterflies and jumping mice to owls,
Mexican wolves, jaguars and African big cats. Bill’s focus is on conservation research to
mitigate conflict between big cats and humans over livestock.
Bill is Founder of The Wild Source, a travel company featuring wildlife biologist planned safaris and a mission of conservation through empowerment of local people. Since 2004 Bill has organized and guided small group safaris where he is able to share his knowledge and passion of wildlife with his guests.
Bill’s style is to feature the local guide, who is the ultimate expert on the region visited, while Bill adds a more global perspective on conservation, wildlife research, and animal behavior.
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Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/dvxYMUZuXjc
- Where’d you grow up? How the heck did you even get to Colorado? [3:00]
- How did you get that big endangered species contract? [4:12]
- So how did you get to Africa? [9:46]
- Bill explains how The Wild Source (TWS) came to be. [13:20]
- Bill discusses the early years of The Wild Source working out of his basement. [17:15]
- What is disruptive empowerment? [18:01]
- Bill explains how they’re a mission-based company. [28:09]
- Bill and I discuss the power of travel. [30:54]
- If anyone knows what’s going on with COVID and how it’s affected the world right now, it’s you. And so what have you seen, like how are some of these African countries that you work in? How have they been affected? How’s the wildlife been affected the people in your business? How’s everything going? [34:56]
- Bill elaborates about the hardships for women in Tanzania during COVID. [47:25]
- Bill discusses how the management of safari camps has begun to shift. [51:43]
- Bill and I chat about how we met as an aspiring masters student to study big cats and my citizen science project that turned into a long term study with TWS. [56:26]
- Bill drops a hint about a possible future BBC documentary at one of their camps! [01:17:47]
- Bill and I discuss the practicality of electric cars and alternative fuel sources in the safari industry. [01:24:30]
- Parting thoughts. [01:27:39]
Download the full transcript below.
- The Wild Source: https://thewildsource.com/
- Disruptive Empowerment: https://thewildsource.com/disruptive-empowerment/
- The Wild Source’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewildsource/