Who We Are

Who We Are

IT TAKES A TEAM OF FULLY DEDICATED PEOPLE TO SAVE A SPECIES

We strongly believe in working together and in synergies. That’s why everyone in the board of Now or Never African Wildlife Trust NPC has a very different and specialized background and a strong track record of impact on the field.

In order to save a species it takes expertise around a various set of areas, including conservation, rescue operations, wild animal care, youth education, new technologies and the digital field. That’s one of the key founding principles of Now or Never – getting the right people on board in order to make a real difference.

We are proud about all the lives which have been saved already across the member organizations, but we are aware that this is not good enough.  Every live matters. We need to step up and save them all.

We will save them all.

Our Team

UNITING CONSERVATION, RESCUE OPERATIONS, WILDLIFE VETERINARY & DIGITAL EXPERTISE

  • Arrie van Deventer
      Arrie van DeventerThe Rhino Orphanage, Founder
    • Johan Marais
      Johan MaraisSaving the Survivors, Founder
    • Chris de Bruno Austin
      Chris de Bruno AustinKishugu Holdings, CEO
    • Dex Kotze
      Dex KotzeYouth 4 African Wildlife, Founder
    • Thomas Ropel
      Thomas RopelPassionate Conservationist & Digital Expert
    • Arrie van Deventer
        Arrie van DeventerThe Rhino Orphanage, Founder

        The Rhino Orphanage is a registered non-profit company based in the Limpopo Province and was founded by Arrie van Deventer in 2012. The orphanage is the first specialist, dedicated, non-commercial centre that cares for orphaned and injured baby rhinos with the only aim of releasing them back into the wild.

        It was created as the result of a lack of a specialized place for rearing baby rhinos who have been orphaned as a consequence of the current poaching crisis which feeds the illegal trade in horns.

      • Chris de Bruno Austin
        Chris de Bruno AustinKishugu Holdings, CEO

        Chris de Bruno Austin is globally recognized as a forest and wild fire specialist. He is MD of WoF International and CEO of the Kishugu Group of Companies. Chris was responsible for the successful implementation of the South African Government’s Working on Fire Programme. This resulted in the Programme being internationally recognized as the benchmark for rural job creation. The Kishugu Group currently employs, amongst others, over 6 200 fire fighters in South Africa and approximately 1 200 fire fighters in Chile.

        He was instrumental in the planning and development of various international projects, e.g. the first climate change project for Peace Parks Foundation in western Zambia, developing the forestry skills of thousands of small-scale farmers in Africa, developing vegetation management prescriptions for various National Parks in India and growing the integrated fire management business in the plantation forests of Latin America. Chris is the author and co-author of numerous technical papers and fire management plans including Ngorongoro, Serengeti and the Okavango Delta and was involved for many years with the SavFIRE research project in the Kruger National Park.

      • Dex Kotze
        Dex KotzeYouth 4 African Wildlife, Founder

        Dex Kotze is the CEO of distinguished jewellery company Jenna Clifford Designs that he co-founded with his wife Jenna Clifford in 1991. After he obtained his law degree he studied business and finance and today applies his business experience of 30 years into the world of conservation. With a deep passion for Africa’s wildlife and wildlife photography, he started an NGO called Youth 4 African Wildlife that aims to create next generation global ambassadors for endangered African wildlife through experiential research, social media, film and photography.

        His passion steered him in 2014 to be a core strategist of the international NGO, Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions , raising international awareness of the plight of elephants, rhinos and lions. Dex is also a director of South Africa’s The Rhino Orphanage, a non-profit company based in Limpopo, the first of its kind established in 2012 where injured and orphaned rhino calves are being cared for with the aim of releasing them back into the wild. He lives on a farm with his family in the Lowveld in Mpumalanga from where he flies regularly to the bush as a conservation educator and to Johannesburg to look after the family business interests.

      • Johan Marais
        Johan MaraisSaving the Survivors, Founder

        Johan Marais is currently the CEO of Saving the Survivors, a not for profit organization specializing in treating injured, endangered wildlife like elephant and rhino.   He qualified as a veterinary surgeon 1991, spent 5 years in private practice, 2 years in marketing and 18 years in academia. He was elected President of the South Africa Veterinary Association in 2015.  Johan has a special interest in wildlife surgery and has performed surgery on several species of species like elephant, roan, cheetah, sable, buffalo and rhino.

        Apart from that, he is one of the few, if not only, surgeons that has successfully performed colic surgeries on rhino and elephant.  Johan has given several talks on wildlife surgery and co-presented at rhino workshops at various venues around Southern Africa.  Apart from presenting elephant workshops annually in Africa, he has also published two coffee-table books on elephants.

      • Petronel Nieuwoudt
        Petronel NieuwoudtCare for Wild Africa, Founder

        Petronel Nieuwoudt started her career in the Endangered Species Protection Unit (a specialized unit of the Police) where she held the rank of captain. In 1999 she left the police service and started The Game Capture School. With more than 20 years of experience in the care and conservation of wild animals, Petronel has now consolidated her efforts to develop a centre in Mpumalanga, South Africa that is totally devoted to the care and rehabilitation of African wild animals – in all shapes and sizes!

        Having run The Game Capture School for ten years, which was the first comprehensive school in South Africa to offer courses that focused on the theoretical and practical aspects of all forms of wildlife capture and care, Petronel has formed Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary NPC in the scenic area of Barberton – just outside Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. Care, hand rearing, management and capture of infant, injured and/or orphaned animals are the passions that drive the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary NPC. Petronel is also one of a few who has specialized in the care of orphaned and injured rhino. The centre has a designated area that is especially built to cater for these magnificent species.

      • Thomas Ropel
        Thomas RopelPassionate Conservationist & Digital Expert

        Thomas has two fundamental passions: technology & wildlife. It’s therefore no surprise that many of his projects aim to connect these two worlds: How can technology help to solve some of the most dramatic & tragic problems our beloved nature & wildlife faces in these challenging times? This burning question has brought Thomas from Central Europe to Africa – to our iconic rhinos.

        He started his professional career in Google in 2010 – after studying at the University of Mannheim, Germany as well as at the University of Miami, Florida Business Administration. Prior to Google Thomas worked as a CMO for various Start-Ups in Berlin and was running his own online-marketing agency. He has been working with various wildlife and conservation charities across Africa, Europe and the US for several years before he has decided to take the next step: The incorporation of the Now or Never African Wildlife Trust. The basic idea was to unite the efforts of some of the most inspirational charities across Africa in order to save all rhinos and elephants.

        Disclaimer: Thomas contribution towards the Now or Never African Wildlife Trust are happening in his individual capacity.  Google itself is not a member of the Now or Never Africa Wildlife Trust Alliance. Opinions expressed by the Now or Never African Wildlife Trust and its members are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Google.

      Rhinos Need You to Save Them - Now or Never.