Kim Wolhuter is a former game ranger turned wildlife filmmaker and he will be appearing on Man Cheetah Wild for Discovery Channel in 2014. This is the story of a cheetah family.
If the name “Wolhuter” is vaguely familiar in a wildlife context it may be because you are remembering bits of the history of the Kruger National Park.
Kim Wolhuter the grandson of the famous Harry Wolhuter, the first game ranger in the Kruger National Park, a man who was attacked by two lions in 1904, dragged off his horse into the bush, but he survived to tell the tale. He stabbed one of the lions and then he climbed into a tree before being rescued by his assistants who responded to the barking of his dog, Bull. It took them hours to get him back to camp where he rested for a day before setting off on a four day trip to Komatipoort where he got medical assistance. He went by train to the Barberton hospital where he stayed for several weeks. His knife and the skin of the lion he killed are on display in the Stevenson-Hamilton Library at Skukuza. Harry Wolhuter, according to local legend, is the only man to have ever killed a lion single-handedly with a knife.
Kim’s father was also the head game ranger in the Kruger National Park where Kim grew up. Over the years Kim has worked in South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Botswana as a ranger and even more places as a filmmaker. He served in the South African military on the Namibia/Angola border.
Kim Wolhuter does a lot of his stuff barefoot in the wild and he, unlike many rangers, does not carry a weapon. He is accepted by the animals and that makes for wild life movie magic.
I can promise you that Kim Wolhuter does not get attacked by these beautiful, endangered, cheetahs (the cheetahs, sadly, are not so lucky so keep tissues at hand when watching if you are tenderhearted) and you will fall in love with them (and possibly him). He is one of the modern generation of academic conservationists who understands that the survival of nature depends on the well being of both the ecological systems and the people who compete with them, or use them wisely, for survival. You will also meet Kim’s wife and two children as they formed part and parcel of this two-year project.