I am very sad to announce the passing of Mr. Ozias Kubayi who worked with us on the Leopard Project from November 2010 to May 2011. The time he spent with us, albeit brief was very pleasant and educational. He was passionate about the African wilderness and was very professional in his approach. During my work with him I learned a lot, beyond just survival in the bush, but a whole new perspective on life. With this, my condolences go out to his family.
[caption id="attachment_2156" align="aligncenter" width="327" caption="A picture of Ozias while we were out doing field work. He was proud of his SANParks Uniform and loved being out in the field."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2157" align="aligncenter" width="336" caption="After a day’s work we normally sat and relaxed a little. Here we are sitting with Mark Freeman, a volunteer from Israel who became good friends with Ozias. In the afternoons when we got back from the field we would cook supper, but before that Ozias would shave, polish his shoes, and make sure that his uniform was properly folded and ready for use the following day."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2158" align="aligncenter" width="319" caption="When there was an opportunity to take a picture Ozias always made sure that he had a proper pose. This was his favourite rifle and he refused to use any other weapon. The rifle is for protection in case we are in danger, but he never had to use it because he always made sure that we avoided thickets and places that were likely to harbour dangerous animals."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2159" align="aligncenter" width="341" caption="Here we were walking back from collecting cameras and found the two elephants foraging and thought it would make a good picture. Again you can see Ozias’ dignified pose versus mine with broken battery shells on both hands and a roughed up shirt."][/caption]
Nakedi joined AWF in 2007, working in the Limpopo region, where he's from. Nakedi's initial work was focused on studying the great cats to shape conservation strategies to benefit communities he's known all his life. In 2014, Nakedi moved on from the Limpopo region, becoming AWF’s Congo landscape ecologist.
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