The Wild Source Team
Bill Given – Founder of The Wild Source
Bill has always been passionate about wildlife and wild places. Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area he had to cut his teeth on Wild Kingdom, the Adventures of Jacques Cousteau and trips to the National Zoo. The result has been a career as a wildlife biologist, followed by the unique invent of wildlife biologist planned safaris.
Bill’s first safari came as the result of landing a bigger than expected Endangered species survey contract, providing funds to fulfill the safari dream. Usually when you want something so badly it cannot live up to the expectation. In this case, Bill was blown away by the experience: the wildlife, the wilderness, and the people! As he discussed animal behavior and his wildlife experiences a couple of guides and guests told Bill he should be guiding safaris. Bill followed the sage advice and started leading small group trips as a Biologist Guide.
Subsequently Bill was recruited to conduct research on African lions in Botswana. As word of mouth spread there were far too many interested clients to fit on the few trips a year that Bill could personally guide. The formation of The Wild Source ensured that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from Bill’s knowledge and passion to plan amazing safari experiences with the Wildlife Biologist approach.
Working for two decades as a Wildlife Biologist, Bill has conducted studies on a diverse array of species ranging from endangered butterflies and jumping mice to owls, Mexican wolves and African lions. Currently, as a Research Associate of the Denver Zoo and member of the Botswana based Kalahari Research & Conservation group his focus is as the Principal Investigator of a lion research project in Botswana. The study is an effort to determine the effectiveness of trans-locating lions from cattle areas back into protected reserves. Bill is also applying a powerful technique, conditioned taste aversion, for the first time on African lions and if successful it could be a revolutionary conservation tool for predators around the globe.
Deo Magoye – Co-Founder of The Wild Source Tanzania & Senior Safari Guide
Deo is the Managing Director of The Wild Source Tanzania. Guiding is his passion and our Tanzania team have dubbed him the ‘King Guide’. Most companies will claim their guides are great but a quick look at Deo’s history illustrates that he is a one-of-a-kind for this region. In 2008 Deo was featured as the Safari Guide and Bush Lore expert for the South African television show Voetspore: Journey from Gansbaai (South Africa) to Gabon, a 3 month expedition through rarely visited terrain. This was a follow up to his role on the same series when their expedition went from Cape Town to Cairo.
Deo’s guiding skills are well known, making him the guide selected by many film crews and professional photographers. He was the head guide for a National Geographic film crew for 4 months making a film of the Serengeti migration, and he has guided for BBC filmmakers as well. Legendary wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen was guided by Deo for his East Africa shoots, as were Boyd Norton and Joe McDonald who have contributed to the Audubon Field Guide for African Mammals as well as created their own books.
While it is clear that Deo is the experts’ choice he is also perfect for anyone who is simply excited to go on safari. When preparing such a resume of highlights it was Deo who said “it is hard to single anyone out because all my clients are VIP to me.” The skills to find animals and position a vehicle are only a small part of what makes Deo a special guide. His laid back but confident manner and vivid personality make him a joy with whom to spend your time. With nearly 30 years of guiding Deo knows Tanzania like few others.
Beyond guiding Deo has done a phenomenal job of growing our Tanzania operation. His high character is a magnet for attracting other great people. The result is a guiding operation loaded with exceptional guides, and the absolute best camp staff and operations personnel.
Darcie Smith – Safari Planner/Guide
Darcie has served as a naturalist guide and tour leader for over a decade, leading over 50 group tours to destinations across North America, India, and Africa including the major wildlife hotspots, such as Yellowstone, The Grand Canyon, the Okavango Delta, and India’s tiger regions. Throughout her travels she remains most captivated by the world’s protected wilderness areas whether she is on safari in the Serengeti or backpacking in the Tetons. She began transitioning exclusively to wildlife safari travel in 2009 and has been on safari every year since, allowing her to develop extensive first hand knowledge of southern and eastern Africa. She is an active traveler who loves walking safaris but also appreciates the patience and inquisitiveness that nature demands.
Shannon Gore – Operations Manager
Shannon is from the wooded hills outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Her immersion into nature at a young age was impactful. Her love of the outdoors and interest in Native American culture led her out west in 1993.
Along with exploring the many wonderful wilderness areas of Colorado, Shannon incorporates travel within the states and abroad into her way of life. Exposure to other cultures and habitats provide her with an appreciated expansion of self. Shannon has become a frequent traveler to Africa with safaris in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Combining this first-hand knowledge of safari travel with Shannon’s previous experience as a Social Worker, Yoga Instructor and Office Manager provide her the ability to deliver exceptional client care. She has a remarkable ability to listen to clients needs and respond with kindness and efficiency.
In her free time Shannon enjoys live music and dance as well as yoga, hiking and time with friends and family.
Annie Garner – African Safari Specialist
Annie Garner is a native Coloradoan and has loved to travel and plan trips all of her life. It started at age 7, when Annie to took the lead planning the family trip to Disneyland – she studied a map and plotted out the best order in which to ride the rides. After graduating from college, she planned a trip to Italy with a travel agent who was impressed with her planning skills and offered her a job upon returning. Following five years of planning trips to destinations worldwide Annie discovered her top love was Africa.
Since 2010 Annie has been an African safari specialist, and joined The Wild Source team in 2015. Annie enjoys getting to know her clients and custom designing the perfect trip for each traveler, with a passion for authentic and sustainable travel. Annie has traveled to East Africa (where she had a Maasai wedding ceremony) and within Southern Africa. Annie was a board member for the Colorado chapter of Young Travel Professionals. Among her peers at The Wild Source Annie is known as the go to encyclopedia for ideas on incorporating clever small touches, finding value with special safari combinations and planning remarkable honeymoons.
Emily Hancock – Safari Specialist & Marketing Coordinator
Born and raised in Colorado, Emily is an avid traveler, outdoorswoman and adventure enthusiast. In addition to going on safari in Tanzania and Kenya, she has road-tripped, camped and hiked her way through the western and northern US, Canada and Alaska; lived and studied in London and Paris; and traveled in Europe and Mexico. She has always been passionate about exploring local cultures, and her travels have primarily focused on spending time in nature. She developed a stronger passion for wildlife after spending three months living and traveling around the untamed wilderness of Canada and Alaska, from backpacking among grizzly bears in Canada, to hiking among a Dall sheep herd in Denali to boating with humpback whales in the Kenai Fjords.
Emily’s professional background is in marketing, public relations and communications. Known among her friends and family as the first to spearhead the planning process for every trip, it was no surprise to anyone when she put her organizational skills to work and joined The Wild Source as a safari planner. She has worked at nationally-recognized communications agencies and is a seasoned account manager and communications specialist in media relations, marketing, PR, client services and digital media. She has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts, both from Colorado State University.
In her free time Emily loves traveling, yoga, spending time with her dog and camping, hiking, dirt biking, snowboarding, backpacking and anything else she can do in the great outdoors!
Fadhil Magoye – Tanzania Safari Guide/Wildlife Biologist
Fadhil is Deo’s son and was fortunate to learn about the natural world and guiding from a master throughout his childhood. Fadhil grew up loving wildlife and fascinated by the secrets of nature. He had a vision of becoming one of the people that will conserve natural habitats within Tanzania and beyond. This led to college studies on wildlife.
With guiding Fadhil is able to combine his wildlife and conservation interests. Amazingly Fadhil’s first guiding job was with Asilia Africa as a resident guide at Olakira Camp. The annual hiring process starts with 150 applicants invited in, that narrows to 30 candidates for a 3 day intensive testing process resulting in just 10 guides being selected for an impressive 6 week training session. Fadhil served as a resident guide at Olakira for 2 ½ years learning both the Ndutu and Northern Serengeti areas intimately to the point of having remarkable knowledge of individual big cats and the events in their lives.
In addition to guiding Fadhil is putting his wildlife studies to work as he working as a wildlife biologist on our Ndutu/Serengeti big cat research project.
Ron Thompson – Wildlife Planning Strategist/Guide
Ron is one of North America’s most experienced big cat biologists, conducting extensive research on both jaguars and pumas (mountain lions). Following a career with Arizona Game & Fish, including serving as the Large Carnivore Biologist in charge of mountain lions and bears, Ron founded Primero Conservation. Ron’s research with Primero focuses on jaguar and puma conflict with livestock in Mexico as well as working to decrease puma predation on desert bighorn sheep as that conflict ends in persecution of pumas.
Ron is internationally recognized for his big cat knowledge. He was the first non-Mexican citizen to be issued a permit to capture and satellite collar jaguars. Renowned big cat NGO, Panthera, has contracted Ron to train Latin American biologists on capture and handling techniques for jaguar and puma to support studies in Mexico and Belize. He has also been employeed by Turner Endangered Species and Borderland Research Institute to research pumas in New Mexico and Texas respectively.
Ron has worked in concert with Bill Given, founder of The Wild Source, on ground breaking big cat/livestock conflict research. It is an extension of that connection that Ron joined The Wild Source team as a big cat expert advisor for our trip designs, and as a specialty guide for select small group departures to big cat destinations like our jaguar focused Pantanal safaris.
Sosy Maria – Wildlife Biologist
Sosy Maria was hired to be The Wild Source camp-based staff wildlife biologist in January 2014. Sosy is a graduate from the College of African Wildlife Management in the Arusha area, which is the premier Institue of higher learning for wildlife research and management in the region. The curriculum focused on practical education with time spent out in the field learning wildlife research techniques and participating in on-going research projects.
Sosy has been the principal investigator of The Wild Source big cat research in the Ndutu/Serengeti region. He has been working to identify individual cheetah, leopard, and prides of lions. By determining how to identify individuals within the population we are able to provide the reference data set for testing an identification software program that is being developed. Sosy is recording locations and tracking movements for each cat to map their ranges. He is also observing behaviors such as hunting and collecting data to see if tourism is having any impacts on hunting success. Through his daily studies of the cats in the region Sosy has an unmatched knowledge of many of the individual cats that we encounter on safari.