David Shepherd

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr David Shepherd, a much loved father and grandfather, an incredible artist and a true conservation hero. David has left an extraordinary legacy, which will continue to resonate in the work that we do at Game Rangers International-GRI. He founded the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation-DSWF in 1984, and was instrumental in establishing GRI in 2008, serving as our Patron since that time. David has been a constant source of inspiration and support to us all. He was the epitome of determination and dedication – values which we will continue to uphold in our daily efforts to conserve Zambia’s wildlife. He will always be remembered as The Man Who Loved Giants. …

May his wonderful Soul Rest in eternal Peace.

I personally have one of his paintings in our lounge. I recall going to see him give a talk at the Sheraton Hotel in Harare many years ago. Must have been in the late 1980s. I have always admired him and been a fan of his work. A truly genuine and gifted man looking after our precious wildlife.

This is his charity website – https://davidshepherd.org/

David Shepherd was born in Hendon, north London, and is the son of Raymond Shepherd, an advertising man, and Margaret (nee Williamson), a housewife. David was sent to Stowe school, in Buckinghamshire. Regretfully, this was not money well spent as he did not achieve a lot at school and was was not a fan of rugby. “The game was compulsory at school and I was terrified of it,” Shepherd later said.

He left at the earliest opportunity and, funded by his father, travelled to Kenya to become a game warden. “I knocked on the door of the head game warden in Nairobi and said, ‘I’m here, can I be a game warden?’ I was told I wasn’t wanted. My life was in ruins.” David spent a brief period as a hotel receptionist on the Kenyan coast, until returning to the UK. He met by chance a jobbing artist named Robin Goodwin, who took Shepherd on as an assistant at his studio in Chelsea, west London, where the bread and butter came from painting portraits and marine subjects.

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