Ipswich: Crocodile expert returns to Suffolk to pass on his knowledge to students

AFTER spending ten years in Africa observing one of nature’s most deadly creatures, an Ipswich man is preparing to pass on his knowledge to students in Suffolk.

Kevin Wallace, who spent most of his life growing up in Ipswich, started out as a chef after leaving school before gaining a degree in Liverpool. He then went on to get a masters from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

After a decade in Africa, mainly in Zambia and South Africa, Mr Wallace spent time observing the behaviour of crocodiles – eventually returning to the UK to specialise in the subject.

Now beginning a teaching career for the Otley College campus of Easton and Otley College, Mr Wallace will be passing on his knowledge to students in wildlife management.

“I started out as a chef at the farmhouse pub in Kesgrave but I have always had a passion for nature and wildlife,” he said.

“So I gave up my aspirations of being the next Gordon Ramsay and ended up more like an environmental version of Crocodile Dundee.

“Education is what I love. I believe in questioning everything and having a passion for the subject that you are teaching. I’m really looking forward to forging a career here.”

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Mr Wallace has had a few close shaves working with crocodiles in the past, but said the more frightening incidents he experienced involved hippos and elephants.

Higher education courses at the college are run in conjunction with University Campus Suffolk and as part of his role as course leader on wildlife management, Mr Wallace will take students to South Africa in 2013.

He added: “I am also keen to forge links to local as well as international conservation organisations in the future so this is definitely in my thoughts.”

College spokesperson, John Nice, said: “It’s great to have someone of Kevin’s experience on board.

“Having spoken to him, his passion for the subject that he is teaching is incredible. I’m sure his lessons will be informative and fun.”

n Have you had an encounter with a dangerous animal? Send an e-mail to starnews@archant.co.uk