Patrick and Addra Gazelle calf 

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Patrick Dunn

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Serengeti Photo Safaris

Your host and guide, Patrick Dunn was born in Sacramento, California in 1955. He has been an active member of the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) since 1978. At the 1979 AFA convention in Las Vegas, Nevada he was fortunate to have met Mr. Robert J. Berry, Curator of Ornithology from the Houston Zoo. It was through this timely meeting that Patrick applied for and was offered a position with the Zoological Gardens where he worked in the Tropical Birdhouse for two years. He learned about ornithology in its purest form from Mr. Berry. Today, they still remain close friends and Patrick looks to him for the most elusive answers to avicultural questions.

Late 1981, Patrick was hired by the Miami Metrozoo to remove and transport all the bird specimens at Crandon Park Zoo to the new Metrozoo. This turned into a seven month tenure moving from a 30-acre zoo on Dinner Key to a 650- acre zoo outside of Homestead, Florida.

Subsequently, Patrick was employed with CampTel Ventures, an outdoor adventure company. He led birdwatching tours throughout southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica for six months until hurricane season began. After all his travels, Costa Rica today remains his favorite birding destination.

With birds from Texas and Florida, Patrick moved to the island of Kauai in late 1982, where he started a bird farm which eventually grew into the largest avicultural facility in Hawaii, Parrot Jungle of Kauai. Patrick imported everything that the state would allow. On numerous occasions, he actively testified to allow the entry of many more species as he believed Hawaii is blessed with an environment that could really be beneficial to aviculture. Over the next ten years, he supplied hotels on five islands with birds and animals in creative interactive exhibits with very lush tropical themes for the tourist's enjoyment.

In 1987, Patrick was approached by a resort developer to design and direct construction of a zoo, Kauai's first zoo, part of a $600,000,000 resort complex. By the time it was finished, Patrick had stocked, staffed and directed the zoo at a cost of more than $80,000,000. His task included designing a quarantine facility for incoming hoof-stock, birds and primates as well as two complete commissaries at opposite ends of a 50-acre lagoon. More than 60 species of birds and animals were exhibited on seven naturally landscaped islands with no bars or cages.

Additionally, he procured all the zoological specimens, and searched the mainland for nearly a year buying and shipping animals to Kauai. It was an all consuming task that was completed with animals on exhibit within two years.

Kauai Zoological Gardens was in operation for nearly eight years. During that time, Patrick managed to breed every species that was paired including three species of endangered Hawaiian birds to multiple generations. The zoo however, was destroyed by a large hurricane in 1992. Under private direction, he reopened the zoo for three additional years. Due to a fragile island economy, the Japanese property owners decided against its continuance. After surviving two hurricanes in nearly fifteen years, he decided it was time to move to the mainland where he purchased three acres in northern California and moved all of his stock out of Hawaii.

Since 1983, Patrick has been guiding bird watching trips to various parts of the world, adding Africa to his itinerary twelve years ago. He keeps a "life list" of birds which now totals over 3,400 species. In addition, he has been collecting insects since he was five years old and holds a collection of about 10,000 specimens. Patrick was a member of the Kauai film commission for 10 years and supplied birds, animals and other natural history props to the industry for use in videos, television commercials and motion pictures such as "Outbreak" and "Jurassic Park". He is a scuba diver with advanced open water, search and rescue, underwater navigation and dive master certifications. He is also an accomplished Taxidermist.

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