Kerri has always been passionate about animals and the environment and much of her youth was spent horse riding and with her dogs. After school, she obtained a secretarial diploma following advice that this was ‘the right thing’, then continuing her studies for Business Computing and Marketing and Business Management (MBM) diplomas leading to work as an accounts analyst for Standard Bank and administrator in Sasol. In her own words, this was not really the direction she wanted to take but “her horse needed to eat”. Fortune though led her to meet Professor Gerhard Verdoorn, then Head of the Vulture Study, Raptor Conservation and Poison Working Groups of the Endangered Wildlife Trust where she was appointed manager of the Vulture Study Group. She remained for 2 years and then moved on in 2005 to manage the Vulture Unit at the De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Trust. The opportunity arose there for her to hand-raise her first vulture and her passion and dedication towards the cause of vultures took off in earnest. She left De Wildt at the end of 2006 to establish the Vulture Programme under the wing of the Rhino & Lion Wildlife Conservation NPO, now independent as VulPro. So now Kerri has been involved in vulture conservation for 9 years, and has no doubt that vulture conservation is her calling in life, and a cause to which she is wholly dedicated in heart and soul. Needless to say, however, her training in business computing and management in those earlier days is standing her in good stead now in her role as Founder/Manager of VulPro.
Orbert & Notice
Standing behind the bench, Orbert Gayesi Phiri has been with VULPRO since its inception in 2007. Orbert is passionate about animals taking on the responsibility of looking after all animals at the centre, training our new students each year and pri- mary caretaker on Kerri Wolter’s frequent absences. Orbert has a truly special way with animals and they respond amazingly well to him, sensing he a friend. He goes the extra mile to ensure the animals take first priority and have clean drinking and bathing water and sufficient food. Orbert is a tremendous asset to the Centre, a team player, friend and part of our expanding family. Seated in front, Notice Kampion Phiri started with VULPRO in June 2007 just as a temporary employee, helping during the holiday periods when Orbert was on leave. His outstanding performance, hard work and enthusiasm made him indispensible and he has become the centre’s permanent primary maintenance person as well as expert vulture capturer. Only bitten once on his lip, Notice is fearless and enormously strong, ever protective of the farm and all its inhabitants. His hard work, dedication and commitment to the centre is greatly treasured. As with Orbert, Notice is a friend and an important member of our family.
Charles C Banda
Charles has an infectious sense of humor, never missing an opportunity to make a quick joke. Originally from Malawi, he joined VulPro in June 2012 on a temporary basis but became a permanent member of the team as he proved to be indispensible as the project grows. Charles helps with the birds, general farm work and maintenance. Having been bitten a few times by the Condors, Charles has exhibited great patience and passion for the birds as he still continues to work with the animals and make sure they are fed on a daily basis. As with Obert and Notice, Charles is a friend, team player and important member of our family.
Anzelle van Wyk
I am a passionate nature conservator, graduated with my Btech in Nature Conservation at Tshwane University of Technology in 2014. I have worked in a couple of different industries from field guiding, assisting vets, game captures to being a production manager for a TV series “Keeping Up With The Kruger” and lecturing at Centurion Academy for the Nature Management Department.
I volunteered at Vulpro in 2009 – 2010, animals are my life but birds are my favorite and since I’ve been involved at Vulpro my love for vultures grew. Now I am a full time assistant at Vulpro, it is an honour for me to work with these amazing creatures and contributing to conservation to ensure a future for our vultures and birds of prey.
It is awesome to be a part of the great team here at Vulpro and I look forward everyday to the new challenges that we face, every day is different, and I believe where ones passion is…ones love is and when you do what you love, you’ll be successful in what you do. By being a part of conserving these species, I believe, hope and pray in the growing success of Vulpro and all it’s feathered friend’s
I have had a passion for nature and conservation from a very young age. I finally got to pursue these passions in 2008 when I spent a few months obtaining my Field Guiding License.
Soon after I left this field to pursue further studies in Nature Conservation. I graduated in 2014 with my BTech Degree in Nature Conservation Cum Laude.
I have been very blessed to gain various forms of exposure in this field including field guiding, veldt management, game farm management, guest relations and various other aspects of Conservation.
After spending a year in the field in North-West Botswana, I returned to Pretoria. Here I joined the Rietvlei Nature Reserve where I spent a year and a half working intimately with Rhinos and Lions. At this point I realized it was time to pursue another passion of mine… Vultures.
When presented the opportunity to join the VulPro team, I grabbed it with both hands. It has been an amazing experience so far filled with so many different and new adventures that I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
I started assisting VulPro with contract work in October 2016 to build new staff quarters and constructing the new release enclosure.
VulPro tends to have a certain affect on people, even if you never worked with vultures before, it opens your eyes to the importance of these birds. Soon I was also put under this spell and found myself assisting with the vulture conservation aspects on a more frequent basis. Thus, it was with joy that I received an offer for full time employment with VulPro in May 2017.
I look forward to becoming a full time member of the team and being part of the adventure that is VulPro.
I am Darlington Chaya born. I was born in 1984 in mozambique and grew up in Zimbabwe. I am a father of two with one wife.I graduated from high school and I went to college for auto machanics and later on worked at a hotel as a bird life tourists.
After this I had the oppurtunity to experience many different avenues of employment.
I love my parents and they have always pushed me to achieve my goals.
Currently, I am in South Africa striving for the conservation of vulture species and biodiversty.
My hobbies are watching soccer,writting poems and spending time educating children.
Favorite birds: Wamba bird and Vultures
Favourite animals: dogs and cheetah
Favorite food: papu and vegetables
My favourite career: ornithology.
Tamsyn Overton- Temporary worker for the next 6 months.
I have always had a calling to work with the wildlife of southern Africa. I was born in Namibia but have spent most of my life in the United Kingdom. I trained as a veterinary surgeon at Bristol University. Since graduating I have worked in several domestic animal clinics and spent a year working at the largest wildlife hospital in the UK. My passion for conservation and the chance to work with African wildlife meant that volunteering at VulPro was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss. I only recently discovered the huge crisis that vultures are facing throughout the world. I hope to put my veterinary skills to use; as well as discover how through husbandry, research and conservation management techniques, we can provide these vulnerable species with the greatest chance of success.
Tim Overton- Temporary Worker for the next 6 months.
I have spent the last three years working as an engineering consultant in the power and waste industries in the United Kingdom. During this time, the importance of sustainability and human impact on the environment is something that has been continually evident. Although the work at VulPro is very different to anything that I’ve previously experienced, my focus remains on trying to help where I can with wider environmental issues. The team at VulPro have been extremely welcoming and I look forward to continuing to contribute.