The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy
• was formed as a non- profit Trust under the laws of Kenya in 2004
The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy USA
• was established as a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization under the laws of the United States in 2005
The Board of Trustees
1) Chairman of the Board : Donald D. Hunt
Don Hunt or ‘Bwana Don’ as he is affectionately known from his children’s TV series, was born in Michigan and attended the University of Detroit. He was the Founder of international animal exchange Inc. His award winning educational TV shows first brought him to Kenya. Together with wife Iris, Bill Holden and Julian McKeand they founded the Mount Kenya Game Ranch, home of the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy.
His conservation work saving vanishing species has gained international recognition. Don is also Founder/Vice Chairman of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation and oversees their education center visited by over 10,000 Kenyan students annually.
Don Hunt serves on the advisory board of the Moorpark Wild Animal Program and is a Founder/ Director on the board of the International Bongo Foundation.
2) Trustee/Director : Iris R. Hunt
Iris Hunt was born and educated in Germany. She became involved in wildlife conservation during her first visit to Africa in 1963. She is the founder of the Mount Kenya Game Ranch’s famed Animal Orphanage.
Together with her Kenyan staff they have released over 2000 animals back to the wild. In 1975 she founded the Mount Kenya Art Galleries to promote and connect local artistic talent to wildlife conservation.
She is also a founder/Director of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation. Iris is married to Don Hunt and they make their home at Mount Kenya.
3) Trustee/Director: Paul N. Ndungu
Paul Ndungu is a prominent Kenyan Lawyer and partner in the Nairobi law firm of Ndungu, Njoroge and Kwach. He is also the chairman of the Presidential Land Commission of Kenya. Privately, Paul has a keen interest in wildlife conservation. He set up the Trust for the M.K.W.C. He continues to help out with legal matters.
Paul and his family make their home in Nairobi.
3) Trustee/Director : Jane McKeand
Jane McKeand is the widow of one of the Conservancy’s founders, Julian McKeand. She serves on the Conservancy board since his untimely death. She is a keen and accomplished photographer, widely travelled in Africa. She is a past Chairman of the Kenya Horticultural Society as well as serving as a Trustee of the Nanyuki Cottage Hospital. She has lived in Kenya since 1970 and at the Mount Kenya Game Ranch since 1979.
4) Trustee/Director : Florian R. D. Schoeller
Florian Schoeller, born in Germany in 1974, was educated in Germany and the USA. He is a partner and CEO of the Scope Group, Berlin. As a dedicated conservationist, Florian visits Kenya and the M.K.W.C. as often as he can. He fundraises for the Conservancy in Germany and Europe.
Florian is married to Franziska and they live in Berlin with their 3 young children, all budding conservationists.
5) Director (USA) Thomas J. Hunt
Tom Hunt was born and raised in Michigan and is a past Director of International Animal Exchange Inc. He is a founder partner in International Camelids Inc. Tom and his family donated the first herd of Llamas to be established in Africa. Through his dedicated work herds are now breeding at Egerton and Chuka University Colleges with the goal of eventually providing these animals to Kenyan high altitude farmers.
The Advisory Board
Ron Surratt, Director of Animal Collections, Fort Worth Zoo Executive Director, International Bongo Foundation, USA
Dr. Betsy Dresser, Fmr. Sr. Vice President and Director Audubon Nature Institute, Professor and Endowed Chair, Species Survival and Conservation, University of New Orleans, USA
Jack Barrah, OBE, Snr. Warden (rt.) Advisor to Kenya Wildlife Service
Dr. Paul Sayer, OBE, BVMS, FRCVS
Don Hunt, Chairman donates his time and resources to oversee the overall operations to include education, rare species breeding and relocation.
Iris Hunt, Trustee, donates her time and resources assist with operations at the Animal Orphanage, fundraising and media communications.
Donald Bunge : Wildlife Manager, overseas wildlife operations, related staff, security and logistics.
Beatrice Koskei : : Member Relations Officer
Agnes Macharia : Honorary P.A.
James Wachira : Accountant
James Muraya : Orphanage supervisor
Other dedicated staff include: orphanage attendants, animal keepers, maintenance staff, security staff, game scouts, gardeners, and last not least our dedicated interns.
- To work together with our donors and circle of friends to preserve the environment and the wildlife within.
- To rescue, nurture and rehabilitate all wild creatures that need our help.
- To ensure that all donor funds are used for the purpose they were intended for.
In a recent meeting with Kenya Wildlife Service officials about the future releases of bongo back to Mount Kenya, the question of further funding was put to the board of the M.K.W.C.
It was pointed out to them that the Hunt family privately already spent over $2,000.000.00 on saving and breeding bongo in order to return them to the wild of Mount Kenya as a gift to the people of Kenya.
It was also pointed out to them that no member of the board receives any remuneration, expenses or any other form of payment whatsoever. Our work and efforts are voluntary and donated. Their response was:
“But then, how do you make your living?”
A valid question, probably on the minds of many people, especially donors to the Conservancy:
As for myself, (Iris Hunt) I was lucky in that my family recognized my philanthropic streak when it comes to wildlife and they left me sufficient funds to get me started. I borrowed some more, made wise investments and worked hard. It allowed me a life that you can only dream of.
Don Hunt, worked hard and invested wisely for many years, enabling him to donate his services and considerable personal and family funds to the Conservancy. Now, an octogenarian he still puts in a full day to help see bongo back on Mount Kenya, his lifelong work and dream.
William Holden, well we all know how he made his money. It was hard work, for him as well, and he shared and spent generously for Kenya’s wildlife’s future.
The founders meet in L.A. to discuss the plan to start a conservation project in Kenya, 1967
Julian and Jane McKeand, together worked all their lives running a successful business and gave back plenty already. Julian passed away unexpectedly and Jane has taken his place on the board.
Paul Ndungu is a partner in one of Kenya’s most prestigious and respected law firms. He donates his service on the board because he believes in the importance the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy to his country.
Our newest member, Florian Schoeller is still “at it” working 14 hours a day and raising a family, with their hearts in the right place.
None of us have ever received or charged one penny to the Trust. Our constitution forbids this, forever and with good reason. Who ever follows us on the board when we are no longer of this earth will have to live with this constitution, one way of making sure that they are guided by the right motives.
Together we can make a difference.
It is our collective hope that the Conservancy and its work will go on forever. In time a younger set will hopefully take over and to continue to develop the goals of the M.K.W.C.
“Mawingu, the real estate arm of Mount Kenya Game Ranch has so far only been utilized to generate funds when/as they are needed to maintain the game. The land has been host to all the rescue, breeding and educational efforts of the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy.
We do look for change in the hopes that the next generation will come with the means to relieve us of the responsibilities when we can no longer do it all.
Shares in the Mount Kenya Game Ranch (owner of the land) must go on to be managed by like minded conservationists of independent means interested in continuing the ongoing work of the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy.
Proceeds from donations directly benefit the Conservancy’s goals, aiding the ongoing projects.
The Board Feels a Strong Responsibility
As with any charitable effort a common concern is making sure that the donations actually make an impact, rather than being whittled down by bureaucracy and overheads.
With a wealth of combined business experience, the hands-on board of the Conservancy is actively involved in its efficiency in terms of turning money into action. The board feels a strong responsibility towards our donors.
Overheads are kept to a minimum and donated money is channeled to what it was intended for: the survival of the animals and conservation of nature.