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WNAG Announces Recipient of First Annual Simon Combes Conservation Award

Internationally renowned British artist recognized for contribution to the conservation cause.

11/28/2005 - Ottawa, Canada (November 28, 2005)— The Worldwide
Nature Artists Group (WNAG) is pleased to announce this year's recipient of the Simon Combes Conservation award. Artist David Shepherd was chosen among the WNAG monthly award winners for his outstanding artistic excellence and extraordinary support of conservation.

Shepherd, who resides in the U.K., is known internationally as one of the world's leading nature artists and is founder of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation—a leading UK charity supporting wildlife conservation. He is also an accomplished author and the subject of several television documentaries. A passionate conservationist, he admits to owing his success to the animals he paints.

"The greatest thrill of my life is to be able to repay in fair measure the debt I owe to the animals I paint and which have brought me such success.

I want to live to be 150. It will take that long to do everything I want to do. We all have a debt to pay for our stay here. This is mine,' declares Shepherd.

"I am greatly honoured to receive this award in Simon Combes' memory. He was one of the truly great artists who portrayed wildlife with unmatched ability."

The Simon Combes award was created by the WNAG in February 2005 to honour Combes' memory, making Shepherd the first to receive this annual award.

Combes, world-renowned painter, author, instructor and dedicated conservationist, was tragically killed by a charging Cape Buffalo while hiking near his home in Kenya on December 12, 2004. At the time, Combes was the Director of the Kenya chapter of the Rhino Rescue Trust (www.rhinorescue.org), an organization founded in 1985 to protect endangered species from poachers and to help the communities surrounding Lake Nakura National Park that are affected by wildlife conflicts.

Jeffrey Whiting, founder and president of WNAG, notes, 'This award will be a reminder of Combes' greatest qualities: his superb talent, love of nature, unbounded passion for living and sharing, and extraordinary commitment to the conservation cause. It is fitting that David Shepherd, who exemplifies these same qualities, should be this year's recipient.'

The Combes award is one of many prestigious awards bestowed on Shepherd for his unwavering exuberance and dedication to conservation causes. As well, the WNAG is donating $500US to the Rhino Rescue Trust in support of
its anti-poaching activities.
 
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