Ian  Maxwell

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Ian Maxwell

The world's foremost animal tracker

Ian Maxwell created and presented ‘Big Cat Track’ on Animal Planet which attracted great media attention and showcased his skills as the world’s foremost authority on animal tracking. His first series, ‘Max’s Big Tracks’ has just been broadcast which took him all over the world searching for elusive and rare species including the ‘Yeti’.

Tracking animals in the world’s toughest terrains: rainforest, desert, mountain, jungle, river, swamp or bush and both rural and urban landscapes.

Ian Maxwell created and presented ‘Big Cat Track’ on Animal Planet which attracted great media attention and showcased his skills as the world’s foremost authority on animal tracking. His first series, ‘Max’s Big Tracks’ has just been broadcast which took him all over the world searching for elusive and rare species including the ‘Yeti’.

Tracking animals in the world’s toughest terrains: rainforest, desert, mountain, jungle, river, swamp or bush and both rural and urban landscapes. His expertise and experience have brought him a most exceptional list of clients, ranging from film and TV companies to Government Departments. Conservation authorities, to Police Forces. He is the author of a beautifully illustrated book, ‘Animal Track ID and Techniques’ and is currently writing his second which deals with tracking men.

Ian or ‘Max’ as he likes to be called, was born in Zambia and was inspired from an early age by the last of the old Colonial Hunters, who made their living by tracking and hunting wild animals. Max was only eight years old when he tracked his first leopard and by twelve, the intrepid youngster was studying hippos and crocodiles in and around the upper reaches of the Kafue River and learning to Scuba dive in the Zambezi. The Ngoni (descendants of the Zulus) and the Mashona tribes taught Max the ancient skills of Bush craft, survival and tracking in the African Interior. Ian is an expert in wildlife especially in how to handle crocodiles, snakes, insects, sharks, big cats, elephant, and rhino, grizzly and brown bears.
In 1979, Ian started work as a Liaison Officer for the Zambian Wildlife Department and it was there that he became deeply involved in the war against poachers and their multi million pound industry trading in endangered species. Ever since then, Ian has dedicated his life to protecting and conserving endangered animals, which constantly brings him into conflict with some of the most dangerous and crafty, criminals in the world.

Over the years, Max has devised his own unique tactical tracking method - looking for people, whether they are lost or evading detection and operates a specialist tracking organisation, ‘Shadow Hawk’, which advises organisations around the world. ‘Shadow Hawk’ is also a very successful school based in Cornwall teaching civilians how to track and survival skills, these included Charlie Boreman and Ewan McGregor.

Max has worked for organisations like SOS Lynx Foundation searching for the elusive Iberian Lynx and training students from The University of the Algarve in tracking, bush and survival skills. He has re-trained the hardened game scouts of the Northern region in Kenya and trained the Devon and Cornwall Police Force to man track.

Ian fences the sabre, is an expert Thai Kick Boxer and an excellent diver, a Mountain Leader and excels at remote survival. Ian speaks regularly at conferences, colleges and universities on the subjects of tracking, poaching and bush survival skills. He is a fully qualified venomous snake handler, including black mamba, qualified venomous snake first aid and qualified African dangerous wildlife rifle handler Qualified Tactical and Combat Tracking Instructor.

He is a fellow of The Royal Geographic Society, a member of The International Society of Professional Trackers, a member of The International Society of Survival Instructors, is the founding Chairman of The Search and Rescue Tracking Association and has just been awarded The Winston Churchill Fellowship for life.

Testimonials

“Thank you for this mornings fascinating lecture. Your talk and visuals held the audience quite spellbound. Our members were impressed by your ability to approach dangerous wild animals without the protection of guns. Thank you for a most memorable morning. - Dr Anthony Herring U3A (University of the Third Age), Cornwall.

“Thank you very much indeed for your wonderful lecture last night, it was an honour for Blundell’s’ to host someone of your expertise and experience and I think the fact that you were able to hold the attention of the two youngest year groups in the school for over an hour speaks volumes and the quality of your lecture, not to mention the exterminating anecdotes. I hope to see you again at Blundell’s.” - Head of History Department, Blundell’s School

“I am writing to thank you very much for speaking on Friday. Your participation was gratefully appreciated and the day was a great success.94% of the delegates found the day to be a valuable experience. The delegate evaluations said that “the speakers were excellent” and provided inspiration. I hope that you may consider speaking to another group of teachers again at some time in the future”. - Co-Director, The Prince’s Teaching Institute, inspirational day at the Royal Geographical Society for Geography Teachers.

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