At 16 Nadav Ossendryver has designed an iPad app, saved a lioness's life, cracked an invite to the Google offices and had more than a million people watch his YouTube videos.
Sitting in his Johannesburg home, he is able to describe animal movements in the Kruger National Park. When he was 15, he started the website www.latestsightings.com and developed an app for people to share the movements of animals in the park.
The Grade 10 pupil's idea to help people share the locations of animal sights was sparked from a trip to the park in December last year. During the trip, Nadav made his parents stop next to every stationary car so he could ask the occupants about what they had seen. "I nearly drove them mad."
He wondered if there was a better and less annoying way to find out where the animals were. "You only see 4% of the park in any trip," he said.
Borrowing a MacBook computer, Nadav spent two weeks and many sleep-deprived nights teaching himself computer programming to develop an iPad app. After 14 days, his app was ready.
A new updated app for Android and iPhones is expected to be launched this week with the Blackberry app arriving next month.
Tourists in the park alerted Nadav to a lioness in distress due to a tight tracking collar. He notified rangers who reached the lioness in less than an hour. He was also able to tell rangers about a wild dog caught in a hunter's snare. "The other dogs were trying to help him. Later some went off and hunted and brought the injured dog the kill," he said.
Sitting in his bedroom, his phone constantly beeps with information about sightings.
Google South Africa learnt about Nadav and invited him to their Johannesburg offices to chat about developing the website and making some money.
He also updates sightings and videos on social media platforms. His video of the day is a leopard plummeting out of tree with a monkey in his mouth.
He said he was not worried about turning the park into a zoo. "People spend thousands of rands coming to South Africa. They can't go away bored," he said.
Following him onTwitter, a US family, who had never seen a leopard before, decided to visit the Kruger National Park. Speaking to Nadav, who was at home, they were directed to a leopard kill.
Hours later they were directed to another leopard kill.
"They saw two leopards in their first day in Kruger. They told all their friends to visit South Africa and Kruger Park," he said.
Source: Herald via I-Net Bridge
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