Chris Packham for AfriCat at the Royal Geographical Society on Friday 17th October 2014

AfriCat supporters, old friends and new, met at the RGS in London to listen to Chris Packham talk about his wildlife encounters and photography.  Chris is a passionate wildlife expert, professional photographer, TV presenter and most importantly for us, AfriCat’s patron.

Chris Packham’s talk was as fascinating as it was amusing.   He entertained us all with talk of his wildlife encounters ranging from observing at close quarters the snow leopard in Siberia to observation of Tristan’s Boehme’s patience as his assistant at Okonjima.  Chris showed photographs of himself lying flat on a moving trailer (towed by Tristan) with only his toes holding him on whilst trying to catch the perfect shot of a cheetah at full tilt.

We heard about the amazing encounter Chris had on his most recent visit to Okonjima with not one but two pangolins; a rarely seen  mammal but all the more so because sadly some believe their bones to have medicinal value for heartache among other things and illegal poaching has drastically reduced their numbers.

Chris touched on other wildlife issues that concern him greatly such as the protection of migratory birds in Malta and the illegal shooting of birds in reserves there.

The audience was entranced as Chris detailed the lengths to which he would go to take the perfect photograph.  We were shown many shots with one or two blades of grass too many and perfect images created by building an artificial mound from which to attain the best photographic vantage point.  Many of us amateur photographers in the audience then realized why we haven’t been able to create eye-catching images!

After all his fascinating stories of wild animals about which he is clearly passionate, Chris Packham declared, rather surprisingly, that his favourite animals are his two poodles “Itchy” and “Scratchy”!

Royal Geographical Society, Friday 17th October 2014

Images from Charles Sturge -

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