Well-known herpetologist Tony Phelps needs your help!
Tony suffered a major stroke which resulted in speech and hearing impairment. He has also been diagnosed with dementia. As we all know, decent medical care is expensive in South Africa and currently there are insufficient funds available to cover his needs. We need your help to reach a fundraising target of R200 000 ($ 12 000, £ 9 300, € 10 300) for Tony Phelps, to help pay for his care at an assisted living facility in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.
Tony has been a friend, mentor and inspiration to so many in the herpetological community. Through his books, awareness sessions, courses, lectures and many extensive field excursions, Tony made herpetology accessible to enthusiasts of all ages and levels. He was one of the four founding members of the International Herpetological Society but was unable to attend the society’s 50th anniversary in 2019.
Founding members of the International Herpetological Society (1968): Tony Phelps, the late John Foden, Tell Hicks and Dave Turnbull.
He has written and co-authored numerous scientific articles and contributed towards others. A passionate conservationist, he dedicated much of his time to the study of reptiles, and public education, running his popular British reptile field courses in Dorset during the 1970s. Many will remember Tony for the detailed observations he made on a local adder population in Dorset, a study spanning over 30 years. After moving to South Africa, Tony went on to carry out long-term studies of cobras and puff adders in De Hoop Nature Reserve. During his last years in the field, he embarked on a project documenting the behaviour of the Chacma baboons, also at De Hoop.
Tony was also an expert natural history cameraman who worked for a variety of companies from the BBC to National Geographic. He also established one of the best collections of venomous snakes and other reptiles at Poole Serpentarium during the 1980s.
Tony filming Cape cobras in De Hoop (2014).
After a lifetime devoted to the herpetological community, Tony now needs your help: only through your generosity can long-term assisted care be provided for him. We hope you will agree that someone who contributed so much to the herpetological community at all levels deserves to spend his final years receiving the care he needs, and to be treated with respect and dignity. All donations will go directly to Tony Phelps’s account and are administered by his attorney-in-fact.
Please assist with this fundraising campaign. We all have a story. Let’s help where we can. We know we can count on the herp community to help reach the fundraising target of R200 000 needed to allow Tony to live out his life in dignity.
Tony in De Hoop observing Chacma baboons (2014).