Paula Kahumbu Biography
Paula Kahumbu Biography
Paula Kahumbu Biography
Paula Kahumbu Biography
Paula Kahumbu Biography
Paula Kahumbu Biography

Paula Kahumbu Biography

Influential Animal Right Activist

Paula Kahumbu

Nationality: Nairobi, Kenya

Know For: Hands Off Our Elephants

Awards: National Geographic Emerging Explorer | Order of the Grand Warrior Award

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Who is Paula Kahumbu...

Paula Kahumbu is a wildlife conservationist and chief executive officer of WildlifeDirect. She is best known as a campaigner for elephants and wildlife, spearheading the Hands Off Our Elephants Campaign, which was launched in 2014 with Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. She has recently in 2022 been appointed as the first National Geographical Explorer as a board of Trustees member at the National Geographic Society.


Kahumbu was born on June 25, 1966, and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, and there attended primary and secondary school at Loreto Convent Msongari. She was first mentored by the renowned conservationist Richard Leakey. She was granted a Government of Kenya Scholarship to study Ecology and Biology at University of Bristol. She then received her master's degree at University of Florida in Wildlife and Range Science in 1992. Her early studies and fieldwork centered on primates, writing her Masters thesis on the monkeys of the Tana River Primate National Reserve.

Conservation Career...

After receiving her PhD, Kahumbu returned to the Kenya Wildlife Service and led the Kenyan delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. In 2007, Kahumbu became the executive director of WildlifeDirect, a nonprofit organization co-founded in 2004 by her mentor Richard Leakey as an online platform to provide voice to African conservationists. The organization has since become the largest wildlife blogging site in Africa and has covered a diverse array of conservation issues—from protecting chimpanzees in Sierra Leone to African Painted Dogs in Zimbabwe. Those who are inspired by the blog posts can then donate directly to the conservationists on the ground, circumventing administrative fees.

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