“Goatee” Toni Kingston is a wildlife conservationist, presenter, and photographer, devoted to the discovery and conservation of wild animals around the world.
IN THE WILD
Researching and working with rare animals in nature is Toni’s main thing to do. His expeditions reached the most primitive habitats from deserts to savannas, montane grasslands to virgin rainforests. Throughout the decades, he has explored most of the tropical areas on earth such as the Amazon, all around Africa including Madagascar, inland Australia, Borneo, Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, and Komodo Island.
IN HONG KONG
After decades of experiences in the wild, Toni realizes that to achieve conservation goals we must get the majority of the world (city people) involved. So in 2004, he founded Jurassic Garage – an educational animal experience that lets people learn about animals through hands-on encounters with real animals. A total of 2,106 presentations in schools and events have been done to promote conservation to over 100,000 people between 2004 and 2012.
Toni’s next venture starting in 2019 is a new brand of F&B, Animojo – wildlife themed dining experience based in Hong Kong. Assorted animal ambassadors promote appreciation and conservation of wildlife to city dwellers meanwhile healthy, all-natural food and beverages on the table. This is his first project that can promote conservation to even more people who may not be animal lovers at the start. That is exactly the point.
Presenting animals on TV, films or videos as a freelancer is a large part of Toni’s media works.
As a wildlife biologist and animal handler, Toni is not like a pure wildlife photographer. Whenever he spots an animal, the first thing he does is not to snap a photo by a super telephoto lens but to move and get up close for a chance to get a hold of it. Taking photos is the thing he does at last. He doesn’t mind showing lower quality snapshots to fill up the species gallery. Some of his photos might not be of “perfect” settings, but real. Every picture is a real encounter with the wild animal, up close.
Wildlife Tours for Everyone
Other than working with wildlife biologists in the field, occasionally Toni also guide wildlife tours around the world. These tours are made to fit everyone – easy and fun, yet a great chance to get up close to the animals in their natural habitats. During the trip, Toni introduces each of the animals and shares thoughts about conservation.
Captive Breeding of Endangered Species
Wild animals belong in the wild. However, nowadays, many habitats may no longer be a safe home to endangered species. It is a sad fact but everyone knows that our earth is being damaged every second. Before the 20th century, 1 species became extinct every 4 years. At present, 40,000 species become extinct every year. 100 species become extinct every day only due to tropical deforestation. Toni often comes across logging during researches in the rainforests. “Seeing big old trees fall down makes me sick at heart. More anxious for the prospects of the homeless refugees”.
The fact that loss of habitats, climate change, pollution, and poaching being the main threats to wildlife indicates the importance of captive breeding to safeguard the last remaining ones of the species.