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INSPIRING INDIVIDUAL - DEVON MASSYN

Devon Massyn is a South African-born Film Director with productions under the belt for the heavyweights in wildlife documentaries.

He believes he is living the dream - up close and personal with some of the creepier, scalier, scarier members of the animal kingdom! His love for reptiles speaks deeply to our own roots at Wild in Africa.

He has a background working with venomous snakes and has captured open-jawed sharks on camera in the most magnificent way.

Deeply passionate about conservation and the world’s wildest places, he can be found always in search of capturing that perfect frame. 

Tell us about yourself

South African born wildlife filmmaker, conservationist and naturalist.

Now living in the USA, I’m the president of the American Natural History Unit.  I specialize in all the creatures the people are typically afraid of… snakes, sharks, crocodiles and big cats. Filming and producing for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, BBC, Netflix, Apple TV and a few others.

Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?

I started my career as a field biologist working with venomous snakes and had a passion for photography.

Through lots of hard work and a sprinkle of luck, I worked my way to where I am now: filming wildlife and telling their stories for a living.

What or who in your life influenced you to pursue this route?

The wild is what influenced me. The unknowns, the never before seen, and the animals that most were afraid that needed their stories told.

Currently, what is the inspiration that keeps you motivated and passionate about your work?

My desire to explore and experience places and things that remain unknown to humans is my main driving force.

The small changes in perception that a viewer feels after seeing something in the way they’ve never seen before… that’s what keeps me motivated

What is the most impactful aspect of your work?

Making people think the animals they are afraid of are cool! People will fight to protect the things they enjoy.

Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled and why?

A very hard question to answer! But I’d have to say the Amazon rainforest, just because it’s so wild and untouched! Makes you feel very insignificant.

Tell us about your strangest experience while traveling?

I once got kidnapped while scouting for a film shoot in Northern Mozambique.. a very long story for another day!

Why do you feel that wildlife conservation is important?

Conservation is incredibly important, not only for our own survival as a species but because wildlife is something you can never get back once it’s gone.

What is your favorite Wild in Africa bracelet style and why?

My Wild Tomorrow Fund bracelet with the African continent reminds me of my roots wherever I am. It will always be where my heart is.

Are there any animals you feel especially passionate about?

Where do I start?!

But I do have a special place in my heart for reptiles. I work with a non-profit called Herpetological Conservation International, where we protect the habitat of endangered reptiles and amphibians.

Can you share your future plans and hopes for yourself?

I hope I get to keep doing what I do best…and keep pushing the limits.

With technology increasing at a rate we have never seen before, we live in exciting times. It’s a matter of using technology in a way that benefits the planet. 

I have a secret big project I’m currently working on that I cannot wait to share!

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