16-year old creates app, portal for wildlife-tracking

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Who said age is a prerequisite to make a change? He may be a young school boy, but Nadav Ossendryver has saved a rhino, spoken at tech conferences, won many awards and established a huge online community.

The 16-year old founded Latest Sightings, a crowd-sourcing portal that gives real-time info on animal sightings at South Africa’s largest game reserve, Kruger National Park The site was set up in November 2011 and enables tourists to share the location of animals they have recently sighted. As a result, spotting wild animals living at the park such as elephants, leopards, cheetahs and lions had significantly increased.

“Wow! Three lioness and nine cubs. Thank you very much for this wonderful website,” commented a user of Latest Sightings.

The idea for the portal started after Nadav’s many visits to Kruger National Park, a wildlife reserve spanning more than 7,500 square miles. Nadav explained that each time his family visited the park, he would beg his parents to stop every motorist they passed by and ask them what they’d seen.

However, after a while, his parents became irritated, so he came up with an easier way for tourists to share their animal sightings. When Nadav returned to Johannesburg, he created a wildlife-tracking iPhone application. Notably, this app doesn’t share rhino sightings to prevent poaching.

Now, Nadav’s website and iPhone app have more than 33,000 users. Interestingly, they have also attracted lots of fans from across the world. Thanks to Latest Sightings, Nadav had spoken to Google executives and has been invited to speak at major technology events in Africa such as the Tech4Africa conference.