Are you fascinated by animals? So is La Trobe alumni Jim Thomas. As a passionate zoologist and conservationist, his remarkable career has taken him from zookeeper to internationally-recognised expert in wildlife conservation, rainforest protection and community development.
In this video, Jim shares how he saved the tenkile (pronounced ‘ten-kee-lay’) tree kangaroos that live on a mountain range in Papua New Guinea. He worked closely with rainforest communities to triple the endangered tree kangaroo population in eight years.
For Jim, connecting with villagers was essential. Through education and community development, he convinced 50 communities – that’s 12,000 people – to no longer hunt tree kangaroos.
“We had to show the people that we’re there for them, as well as the animal,” he says.
Want to get paid to hang out with tree kangaroos? Consider a course in Wildlife and Conservation Biology at La Trobe.