James Peter Fenoulhet studied medicine at the Royal Medical Benevolent College in Epsom, near London, and qualified as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (MRCS) in 1886. Some years later he qualified also as a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (LRCP Edin., 1892). In June 1897 he was licenced to practise medicine in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. In 1905 he was appointed as acting officer in charge of the Emjanyana (or Mjanyana) leper assylum, at a mission station in the Transkei. The next year he was appointed to act as district surgeon in Port Elizabeth. In 1907 he was on Robben Island, perhaps in connection with the leper assylum there.
He may be the same person, or closely related to, Dr J.H. Fenoulhet (MRCS, LRCP Lond.) who applied to be registered as a medical practitioner in Natal in 1897 and was listed as residing at Nottingham Road, Natal, in 1900.
J.P. Fenoulhet resided at Newington, on the border of the Sabie-Sand Game Reserve in the Transvaal Lowveld during 1911-1912. From there he presented valuable zoological material to the Albany Museum, Grahamstown. Included were a new species of toad (Family Bufonidae), which was named Bufo fenoulheti (later Poyntonophrynus fenoulheti) by Dr J. Hewitt*; also a rare night adder, a freshwater fish, a very fine lion's skull, skulls of small mammals, and a very large collection of butterflies and other insects, many of the latter new to the museum.