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Public Lecture Series featuring John Frederick Walker

Can the Ultra-Rare Giant Sable Antelope be Saved?

This event will be streamed live. Please visit our Live Stream page at 7pm on the evening of the event to view the lecture for free.

Although the giant sable antelope is unfamiliar to many, it’s long been known to the Club.

The palanca negra gigante, as it’s called in Angola, was a sacred animal to the tribal peoples that shared its central highland habitats, who kept its existence hidden from Portuguese colonists for four hundred years.

After recognition of the giant sable as a subspecies in 1916, it became a natural history prize collected for museums in the US and Europe on various expeditions such as the one led by Prentiss Gray (a Club member) for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. It was first filmed in the 1950s by Quentin Keynes (also a member), and year-long field studies were conducted by biologist Richard Estes (also a member) in 1969-70, before Angola’s struggle for independence.

Walker first shared his experiences searching for the giant sable antelope at the Club in 2002, when many thought this legendary animal had been a casualty of the country’s conflicts. In August of 2009, he joined Angolan biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto’s last-ditch expedition to find it. Against all odds, a remnant population was discovered, and ten sables were translocated to a captive breeding program in their habitat, saving Africa’s most majestic antelope from oblivion.
The giant sable remains an icon to the Angolan people. Its profile is featured on the country’s currency and the tailfins of its airline—even the national soccer team is named for it. But safeguarding the future of this extraordinary creature has not been easy in this southern African country.

John Frederick Walker has been traveling to and reporting on Africa since 1986. He is the author of A Certain Curve of Horn: The Hundred-Year Quest for the Giant Sable Antelope of Angola and Ivory’s Ghosts: The White Gold of History and the Fate of Elephants. He has written on conservation issues for National Geographic News, The Explorers Journal, Swara, World Policy Journal, Wildlife Conservation, Earth Island Journal, The Washington Post, and many other publications. Walker will sign books after the lecture.

Date: Monday, November 30th

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Presentation

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 East 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: Free

Guest Ticket Price: $20

Student Ticket Price:

Free to EC Student Members, $5 w/ a valid Student ID

Reservation Notes:

Reservations are allotted on a first-come, first serve basis.

To secure a reservation, please call us at 212.628.8383 or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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