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Hollwild Animal Park

By wwelborn 18 May, 2016

Wellford, SC - Hollywild Animal Park announces Conservation Day , Saturday, May 21, 2016 featuring international conservationist Mr. Dave Johnson.

International conservationist and children’s book author Dave Johnson, a North Carolina native now based in Littleton, Colorado will be visiting Hollywild on Saturday to share his experiences in conservation around the world. Johnson had his first job in animal care at Hollywild after serving as a young volunteer with the Western Carolina Nature Center.  Johnson will be the featured presenter at Hollywild’s 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM Creature Feature shows and sign books and answer questions in Hollywild’s Zoovenir shop at 1:15 PM and 3:15 PM.  

While at the park, Mr. Johnson will be leading an animal care team development session and working with park leadership to develop plans for future joint ventures highlighting conservation.

“Dave has always worked to instill his passion for conservation and love of animals in others. It’s contagious. To bring his worldwide conservation efforts here is powerful. We don’t have anything or anyone like that in the Upstate. It’s a great opportunity to learn and become engaged in something beyond ourselves,” said Kim Chiswell, co-founder and director of education at Safe Haven& Educational Adventures, a wildlife sanctuary in Greenville, SC. Chiswell met Johnson while he was in the area years ago and has followed his career and work in conservation.

Mr. Johnson has authored three conservation focused children’s books: The Elephants of Denver ; Narayani: The Unicorn of Nepal ; and The Zoodiak Kids . He will have books available while at the Park and is donating books to Hollywild’s fundraising efforts.

Mr. Johnson founded the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund, a 501 c3 nonprofit organization to ” help promote endangered animal conservation initiatives in honor of Katie Adamson, a young conservationist and all of her animal dreams. ” Through this fund Mr. Johnson has led six expeditions to Nepal. The expeditions provided essential support work in a rhino orphanage and animal hospital, funded the purchase of anti-poaching motorbikes to help park rangers look for poachers killing rhino and tigers, helped build solar powered electric fences to protect villages from wild animals, and numerous other conservation projects. He is partnering with the Climb for Conservation organization in August of this year to bring attention and much needed funds to conservation efforts at the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary in Africa and leading a group to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro while there as part of the Climbing for Conservation effort.

As a pachyderm keeper in Denver, Johnson shared with the Denver post that “Elephants are my passion and rhinos are my family.” However, Johnson has remained close to his family in the Carolinas -his biological family in North Carolina and his Hollywild family right here in the Upstate.  


Atchley and Hollywild’s assistant director, Mary Lee Rollins, met with Johnson on his last visit to his family in North Carolina. After sharing their vision and plans for Hollywild’s future, Johnson wanted to find a way to help, started planning for a visit and brainstorming for future collaborative efforts.


“We are thrilled to have someone of Dave’s renown coming here to support our efforts at Hollywild. His enthusiasm for all we’ve been doing and planning to build a strong future for Hollywild adds even more energy to our team,” said Hollywild executive director Kim Atchley.


Hollywild Animal Park is a 501c3 nonprofit animal park with a 40+ year history in the Upstate.

It currently provides a home and care for nearly 500 non-releasable animals native to five world continents. Hollywild’s Board of Directors and staff are committed to promoting conservation education through interactive and enlightening experiences for visitors whose admission assists in the Park’s efforts to continually improve the lives of its animals in an enriching and respectful manner .



Additional Information :


You can also find Mr. Johnson on Facebook at:


Media Contact: Mr. Johnson is available for comment and interview via cell phone (720) 273-5358. He can also be reached by email: although while traveling his email access may be limited.


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