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Partnership To George’s delight, Fitzjohn turned out to be a natural with the lions. Within days of his arrival, he managed to assert control over an aggressive male lion, armed with nothing but his own supreme self-confidence and the sheer force of his personality. So began a working partnership (with Adamson) that lasted nearly 18 years. During their time together, Adamson and Fitzjohn successfully reintroduced more than 30 lions and 10 leopards into the wild. More importantly, perhaps, they pioneered the development and management of Kora National Park, setting up camps, creating airstrips and cutting more than 300 miles of bush roads, as well as fighting numerous battles with ivory poachers and Somali bandits.

Knowledge, Expertise and Challenges Kora was a tough school, but it made Tony an expert in capturing, collaring and radio-tracking Africa’s top predators, as well as raising and returning them to the wild. The challenge facing him at Mkomazi demanded all these skills, and more. It required someone who was an experienced wildlife manager, fluent in Swahili, a bush pilot, a skilled engineer and mechanic who could build roads, cut boundaries, strip down and re-assemble 4WD vehicles and plant machinery, set up two-way radio networks, construct and de-silt dams, maintain electrical and power equipment, organize anti-poaching patrols, deal with the bureaucracy, and keep a remote camp supplied. All this, and the ability to establish breeding programs for highly endangered species whilst constructing and repairing schools in the villages around Mkomazi Game Reserve,      continued . . .

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