Marlene McCay joined the Board of Trustees in the year 2001 and has continued to be one of Save the Elephants major supporters. In June 2003, Marlene McCay began a project in collaboration with STE and Kruger National Park to examine the population dynamics and movement of elephants within the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) and the adjacent Kruger National Park (KNP). Together with STE and Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Marlene has pioneered the Green Hunting of elephants as a complete alternative to lethal hunting.
Marlene spent much of her childhood in the African bush. Her father was a founder of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and at a young age she was inspired by the words of King George VI: “The wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after.” She became a dedicated conservationist and has devoted much of her life to the conservation of elephants and the environment.
Marlene gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in languages and philosophy and a Higher Teachers‘ Diploma at UCT and went on to work in advertising. She developed and ran several iconic commercial properties, including Tanda Tula Safari Camp and Constantia Uitsig Wine Farm with its hotel and award-winning restaurants.
She served as a board member on the Timbavati Exco for 13 years. In 1998 she and Dr Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants collared the first elephants in the Timbavati.
In 2001 Marlene was granted The Freedom of the City of London for her role in wildlife conservation. Two years later she and Iain founded Save the Elephants South Africa which later became Elephants Alive.