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Prof John Sale
Academic Field:
Years at RTC:
Town of origin:
Recent Residence:
Crediton, Devon, England
Life after RTC:
From Assistant Lecturer in Biology at RTC in 1957 to Associate Professor of Zoology at UoN in 1976 ? those 19 years were some of the most enjoyable of my professional life: many great friendships were forged with colleagues and students alike. Arguing over dinner in hall about Kenya?s fast changing politics; playing hockey, soccer and rugby together; outrageous rag day stunts ? and for my biology/zoology students, learning in lectures and on field trips (Tsavo, Mt. Kenya, Magadi etc) about the ecology and behaviour of Kenya?s diverse and amazing wildlife. Great memories !

But also it?s fascinating to learn what we?ve all been doing since then in many different places. During a brief spell (197679) at Oxford Zoology Department, with my old colleague Malcolm Coe, I was on an ecological survey in Oman, when across the desert sand came a voice, ?It?s me, Abdul-Munim Mjeni? ? one of several unlikely encounters with old RTC students; this one formerly from Zanzibar. My next post was as UN Chief Technical Adviser (Wildlife) to the Government of India (1979 to 88). Initially in Hyderabad, on a project rehabilitating India?s endangered crocodile populations by artificially incubating wild-collected eggs and raising the young until they were big enough to be safely released back into rivers and lakes where set-net fishing, lethal to very small crocs, had been banned. At Indira Gandhi?s instigation, I was next invited to design and then (assisted by a small international team that included Alan Rodgers, an RTC graduate) help set up a national postgraduate training and research facility, the Wildlife Institute of India, in Dehra Dun, UP. This brought many opportunities for travel to wildlife areas all over India and to get to know a number of it?s devoted wildlife conservationists. One highlight was the capture of a group of endangered Indian rhinos in Assam and their translocation, by air courtesy of Aeroflot, to a well protected park in northern UP. The Russians wanted an indemnity against rhinos eating the pilot!

Next, a brief stint (1989 to 90) as wildlife adviser to the Government of Somalia ? utterly chaotic and so very different from our earlier experience in neighbouring Kenya. My last UN post, as UNDP Adviser in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo (1991-94), was relaxing by comparison, as I got acquainted with the rainforest?s orang-utans, pygmy elephants and hairy Sumatran rhinos - not to mention the robust partying of my amicable Bornean colleagues! We rounded it all off with a deer farming project in the hills of Wales (1995 to 2008) and occasional consultancy visits to Sri Lanka, China, Oman, Russia and Burma. Now retired (almost!) in Devon, not far from Torquay where we?re having our Great RTC Reunion in June. Jenny, my wife, and I are much looking forward to meeting up with lots of you there, at what promises to be a really fantastic occasion - do make sure you don?t miss it; think of all the amazing stories we?ll have to tell and listen to long into the night. See you there!

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