MEET THE TEAM

Dale Vallance

Director and General Manager

Dale is all about his big cats at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary which he shares ownership with his wife, Janette. He’s worked around big cats on and off for almost 28 years, but comes from a background in farming, circus transportation, roo-shooting, park ownership, wildlife carer, hospitality and retail management, and more. Being an ex-Australian, he can turn his hand to most things, including showing off the nice bloke he naturally is. When he can find the time, he’s pretty good at pool, loves spending time with his family and friends, and watching Aussie Rules. His favourite cat is Janette, which is why he married her 31 years ago, but the fur-covered cats are all even in his estimation – each of them is the best one.

Janette Vallance

Director and Office Manager

Janette loves Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary and knows the big cats well. She’s one half of the husband and wife team who own KWS. Janette was a self-employed administrator and music instructor, has worked as a theatre community liaison, medical secretary, worked in the public service and as a college administrator. She plays and has taught several musical instruments. When she gets time she still likes singing with a choir, cooking, and diamond painting. For Janette KWS provides two of her favourite things; big cats, and people. She’s probably got favourite people, but no cat stands out over any other – they’re all incredible.

Scott

Butchery Manager and Duty Manager

Scott has spent five years around the big cats, and as a butcher, he’s a pretty essential part of the team. His background is around the provision of meat including management at Meat World Australia and Sales Rep for Rodiger Bros Abattoir. In his free time he enjoys fishing, and at work, he thinks he has the best job at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. He says Bengal Tiger, Indira has coffee with him every morning, but we reckon it is Scott who brings the coffee.

Jess

Acting Lead Keeper

Jess has experience at Auckland Zoo working with lions, tigers and cheetahs on a CAM course. She was an Auckland Zoo trainee and also a zoo-keeper at Gibbs Farm where she looked after giraffes, zebra, buffalo and bison. They must all have been beautifully groomed because Jess is also a self-employed hairdresser. Spare time sees her hiking to keep her fitness level up, something she needs around the cats. She’s also keen on diving, and is intent on supplying seafood for her own table and for the cats. She’s in love with the big felines and their complex, individual behaviours, but if she must choose a favourite it would be, leopard, Mandla. We share a love of coffee and conversations, she says.

Jack

Trainee keeper

Jack’s been around the big cats for three years. It’s his first job but he’s not giving it up any time soon. He loves the hands-on nature of the job and the massive cats he helps care for. He’s a great reader, loves being around animals in general, and hefts weights, which he says keeps him active for the job at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. He has a bit of a tender heart for leopard, Mandla.