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A Brief History of David Shepherd, CBE FRSA FRGS

David Shepherd is known internationally as one of the world's leading wildlife artists. He is also a passionate conservationist and he freely admits that he owes all his success to the animals he paints.

Prolific in output as a painter with a brimful of stories and anecdotes, David says he is an extrovert who enjoys talking. He likes being known as a natural promoter and an ardent ambassador for conservation - it's the way he is.

David became an artist in his tender years after his ambition to become a Gamewarden in Kenya's National Parks was thwarted. Beginning by painting birds, David moved onto Aviation pictures and realised that he could get commissions by giving his aviation paintings to the airlines.

It was on a visit to Kenya in 1960 as a guest of the Royal Air Force, that David became a conservationist.

Conserving Mammals

He found a waterhole poisoned by poachers, around which were lying 255 dead Zebra. He realised then that, through his paintings, which were already in great demand, he could repay his debt to the wildlife that was immediately bringing him such success.

Since then, with the help of supporters across the world, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) has given away over £4million in grants to save critically endangered mammals in their wild habitat and benefit the local people who share their environment.

DSWF is an adaptable and flexible, non-bureaucratic organisation responding promptly to conservation threats by supporting trusted, reputable individuals and organisations operating in the field. Lean on administration but generous on funding, DSWF supports a range of innovative, vital and far-reaching projects throughout Africa and Asia, achieving real results for wildlife survival.

Recent Achievements
  • Uncovering ivory cartels in Zambia, seizing thousands of pounds worth of ivory and arresting poachers
  • Establishing Zambia’s first elephant orphanage to rescue, rehabilitate and release the innocent victims of ivory poaching.
  • Reducing poaching in Russia, allowing the number of Amur tigers to increase from 100 to over 400 in the wild
  • Funding the first ever anti-poaching dog squad in Assam to track down rhino and tiger poachers in India’s most north-eastern state
  • Funding undercover operations of Africa’s first cross-border task force fighting wildlife smuggling
  • Launching TigerTime, a campaign to save the tiger in the wild and bring an end to the illegal trade in tiger parts