What an adventure it has been! Jamie joined the WildEarth family as a member of the safariLIVE guiding team in July 2015 and has since become not only a crew favourite but a favourite of all the viewers too.
She stole our hearts from her interview drive in search of the Duke of Djuma “Tingata” the male leopard as well as the “Stig Pride” of lions. Honestly, we were all amazed she was able to see any of the animals through layers of totally unnecessary mascara. Needless to say, she swept us away with her eloquent speech, detailed knowledge and devotion to the natural world.
Her gentle demeanour combined with her experience and anecdotal approach to exploring the wild has been truly invaluable to both safariLIVE and WildEarth. Her hilarious faux pas such as “this has been a cause of mass debate on the radio” or maybe “As a general rule I’m not a scream… I’m going to stop talking now” brought crew and viewers alike to tummy clenching, tears of laughter. Safari with Pyjamas Paterson was always sure to be an information-packed and endlessly entertaining bumble about the bush.
Jamie’s love of all things wild was particularly evident in her passion for those most unfairly judged of the animals, the spotted hyena. By no other was the Djuma Clan more loved than by Jamie. Her efforts and hours of observation of the hyenas lead us to discover myriad new behaviours and social interactions that had never been recorded or observed in South Africa. Jamie’s constant and careful watch of the clan has lead to a detailed list of clan members, their ID features and their rank within the clan hierarchy. In the Maasai Mara, Jamie found herself in hyena heaven with almost unlimited access to the North Clan den as well as the knowledge and research of the Michigan State University’s hyena researchers. Thanks to her efforts, “Battle Commander” Waffles is now a celebrity animal of the plains with many requesting to see what is possibly the world’s most famous hyena.
Jamie’s adventures with safariLIVE have lifted our spirits, brought us to tears, excited our hearts, amplified our triumphs and most importantly, brought each and every one of us closer to nature. From being the first to see a tiny newborn elephant, to watching the Nkuhuma Pride slay yet another buffalo, the excitement of finding new hyena cubs and the tragedy of watching lion cubs fight off mange and White Muscle Disease, Jamie has been a gleaming gem in the crown of safariLIVE. A true diamond that will forever shine bright in the history of WildEarth.
The sun is now setting on Jamie’s time with WildEarth but is rising anew as she pursues her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. The time has come for Jamie to realise this dream and we are all certain that nothing will stand in her way.
Jamie, to say you will be sorely missed is a gross understatement of the gap you will leave in the lives of the safariLIVE crew, the twice-daily safaris and of course all our incredible viewers. You will always be loved beyond what you realise. You are one of the most beautiful human beings we have ever had the great honour of knowing and you deserve only the best and most beautiful things this world has to offer.
We are all wishing you the greatest success in your studies going forward and anxiously await the opportunity to follow and support you as you reach out to achieve your lifelong dream.
Be sure to join Jamie on her last safariLIVE drive during the Sunset Safari on 15 November.
From everyone at WildEarth and many across all the planet’s continents, goodbye and good luck!