Rethinking with wild animals

From conflict to living with

Everyone has an opinion about the wild animals around us. And the wild animals themselves? Have they been ‘heard’? In conflicts between people and wild animals you have to deal with conflicting views. People look at a conflict in very different ways, let alone take the role of the animals themselves into account. And yet, it is precisely that point, in the interaction between human and wild animal, which can provide us with crucial clues how we can learn to co-exist with wild animals.

Worldwide there is a call for ‘coexistence’ between humans and wild animals. At the same time the question remains ‘Can we really imagine a future in which humans and wild animals can live together?’ The various – bumpy – pathways from challenges to solutions are central to my inspiring presentations, interactive workshops and master classes that get you thinking. As a stimulating discussion leader I facilitate this challenging path.

Sustainable human-animal relationships

In a world where climate change is every day’s business, we shouldn’t forget its impact on wild animals: they move to areas where we wouldn’t expect them. So, how do we develop a sustainable relationship between wildlife and people? A single focus on one-way information transfer, is not the best approach.

I will broaden people’s mindset and shake things up a bit to initiate dialogue among people. As a result, people will think and look differently about “problem animals”. This has an effect on better decision-making on the topic of human-wildlife conflicts.

It is my mission to enable a sustainable relationship between people and wildlife, in which wild animals are acknowledged as serious allies.

BEAR at work

That people and wild animals are able to share the limited space we live in and that nasty interactions between both of them can be managed differently, I know from my own field research and other coexistence examples. To pursue coexistence I focus on four important pillars: Behaviour, Education, Awareness and Response-able practice (see my E-Book for more background information). These are essential when creating forms of coexistence with wild animals. Again, the development of a sustainable relationship between people and wildlife is key.

Sharpen the human-animal dialogue

In short, it is about time to initiate the human-animal dialogue. That we work together towards a sustainable society with a variety of cohabitation strategies. A dialogue with all those involved, including the wild animals around us. What does that look like? More simple and more pragmatic than you might think. Shared experiences and stories are at the core in our move forwards: lets open up all your senses!

Curious how you can rethink with wild animals?

I would like to make you think about it during a presentation, workshop, discussion or master class.

Inspirational Speaker

Do you want your participants to broaden their minds, be encouraged to learn how they can think differently with and about wild animals? In short, provide them with a new vision on living together with wild animals?

Interactive Workshops

Do you want to get started with thinking, doing and discussing dilemmas, challenges and solutions around human-animal conflicts and living together with wild animals? Or do you want to accept the challenge to reflect on your relationship with wild animals?

Stimulating Discussion Leader

Do you have various questions, different visions and stories about the complex social problems of human-animal conflicts and ways to co-exist? Tackle them during a lively conversation. And explore together any common interests for humans and wildlife in your region.


Would you like to learn more about the backgrounds, challenges, and opportunities of living together with wild animals? Do you want to know how to ‘Rethink’ in a world of Human-Wildlife Conflicts? Then the Masterclasses might be suitable for you.

Coming soon, however contact me if you want to join!

These organizations have preceded you…

What do others say about me?

“Susan was a valuable guest and very interesting speaker during our program at the performance What’s in a fairytale?! – Bambi in the City Theatre of Arnhem. During the program we dealt with animal ethical issues, among other things. Her views were thought-provoking. What exactly is the relationship between wild animals and humans?”


Liselotte van der Feltz
Program maker Stage Group East Pole

“Susan’s workshop fitted perfectly within the themes of our organization of Animal Protection. Whether it is a wild animal rescued by ambulance staff or a campaign against hunting, the interaction between Animal Protection and ‘wild animals’ is always topical. Susan’s workshop gave the staff and volunteers more insights within this theme and was very positively received.”

Lisanne de Boer
Communication consultant – corporate and organizer Animal Protection-event

My story in the media

Learning how to rethink with wild animals and especially how to pursue a sustainable relationship between people and wild animals deserves a stage. Through various media channels I have been able to express this story, among others:

A TV interview with EenVandaag on Wednesday 24 October 2018 related to the premiere of the movie ‘The Hut Syndicate (or: the possibility of another life)’

A live radio interview with Eveline van Rijswijk in her program ‘Focus’ of Radio 1 in the middle of the night of Wednesday September 26, 2018 (3.20 am). This was in the context of the program item ‘The Awake Scientist’.

An interview for the magazine Resource about living with wild animals.
An EduVideo for Wageningen University about my research.

An interview for the newspaper ‘Reformatorisch Dagblad’ in the context of the Oostvaardersplassen.

An interview for the magazine ‘Dier’ (Animal) of the Dierenbescherming (Animal Protection) about dealing with successful comebacks.

Other articles in magazines:

  • Pla de, A. and S. Boonman-Berson (2012). ‘Richt wildbeheer op waar het om gaat’ (Focus wildlife management on what really matters). Nieuwe Veluwe (New Veluwe), no 3
  • Hilbers, J.P., Boonman-Berson, S.H. & Elands, B.H.M. (2011). ‘Weinig Roodkapje-syndroom bij burgers Nijmegen (Little Little Red Riding Hood Syndrome among citizens of Nijmegen). Vakblad Natuur Bos Landschap (Professional journal of Nature Forest Landscape), 8(7), 26-29.
  • Boonman-Berson, S.H. (2010). ‘Omgaan met meer zwijnen’ (Dealing with more boars). Nieuwe Veluwe (New Veluwe), no 3