As you watch the Superbowl from your living rooms, our rangers are out in the bush, patrolling, vigilantly protecting our rhinos and elephants.
Rain, sun, under the veil of darkness- each snap of twig, each movement in the shadow; at any moment awaiting to hear the shot of a gun…or the feel of one.
“It’s a relentless onslaught,” says Johan Jooste, special projects commander with South African National Parks (SANParks). “This place gives new meaning to 24/7.”
Soldiers in the poaching war, always in danger, every hour they spend on guard is intense. Relying on one another to back them up, praying the others in their unit are just as committed and not on the payout from poaching syndicates.
One day uneventful, another loading a rhino carcass onto a truck. Many of these men and women, taking each death to heart, feeling guilt and defeat.
“Worldwide, about two rangers are killed every week,” says Sean Willmore, president of the International Ranger Federation and founder of the Thin Green Line Foundation, “But that’s only partial data,” he adds. “It could be double that amount.”
Unappreciated, underpaid, inadequately armed, facing long tedious days only to go to bed and sleep with one eye open, and get up to do it all again. Please help us show appreciation and respect. It goes a LONG way!
Which ranger inspires you? Make a donation in his name and we’ll send them a note of thanks in your words and let them know there is someone out there supporting their efforts and fighting on THEIR team!
Click on each ranger’s name to re-read their stories.