Posts Tagged With: bravery

Ranger Coulran

Name: Coulran

Age: 28 years old

Location: Mpumalanga, SA

I did my field rangers course at one of the best college in southern African, SOUTHERN AFRICAN WILDLIFE COLLEGE AND AFRICAN FIELD RANGERS TRAINING SERVICES,  I’m proud to have been a product of them thanks to the opportunity they offered me and other rangers, though it was not an easy road.

Coulran in bush

Coulran on duty

What has been your most rewarding and most difficult moment as a ranger?

The most rewarding moments as a anti poach ranger is when I spend more months without poaching within the reserve and believe me I wish I can spend my whole life without poaching activities. That motivates me as it shows that me and my colleagues we doing a marvelous job.

The difficult moments is when I wake up in the mornings and wear my uniforms with the thought that I may not make it back to the camp as I may occur a battle contact with poachers. When I don’t arrest poachers when they trespass our reserve as they are one step ahead of me and my unit members.

How much do you work, what is your schedule like?

The way I work can’t be really specified as it’s not a daily routine but what I can say is it all depends on my ops manager and what schedule he brings that day or night. I work 9 hour mornings or nights. It’s like 2 weeks on nights,  2 weeks on days and 2 weeks bush camp. In total I work 42 days and get 14 days off.

I do patrols and ambushes during work.

Where would you like to travel someday?

I would like to travel to Asia and Botswana. In Asia I would want to see where are they selling this rhinoceros horns,  and in Botswana to learn how they keep the low rate of illegal rhino poaching because they are doing a great job.

What’s your favorite meal?

My favorite meal has to be pap and bull brand beef as it keeps me strong during those hard and long hours during work in the bush; and I won’t forget my grannie’s cooking I adore everything she cooks.

What do your friends/family think of your profession?

Couran on dutyMy family, especially my granny couldn’t understand why I chose anti-poaching while I could’ve been a doctor or some good office work, as I did very well in my matric and my other dream was to be a charted accountant.  But I had a soft spot for this species.But they support me and always call me to check if I’m still okay. As for my friends; those who know me they do support and wish me the best of luck.

I strived so hard to be where I am as it was not an easy journey to be an anti-poaching ranger. I dedicate my life for the animals and I’m proud to be a ranger .LET THE ROAR OF THE AFRICAN LION BE HEARD!

Categories: Ranger Heroes, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The ever-evolving role of Wildlife Rangers

Game Ranger: Someone who is responsible for the management of a game reserve.  They work with ecologists, game reserve and wildlife managers; manage and monitor animal populations, maintain roads and fencing, and serve as field guides.

Rangers tracking wildlife for guests in Londolozi. photo: Eric Leininger

Rangers tracking wildlife for guests in Londolozi. photo: Eric Leininger

That in a nutshell was the job of a ranger. But today’s wildlife guides have had to evolve, not just gauge and monitor animals, but defend them with their lives.

Anti-poaching training and strategies have become the primary focus. Rangers evolved, were forced to become militarized.  Working 24/7 to secure poaching hot-spots, do regular patrols to find and remove snares, gather intelligence, and set up ambushes to catch would-be poachers; all the while, keenly aware their lives are under threat.

Rangers alert and on patrol in Virunga National Park, a park with a high incidence of gunfire and poaching activity. photo: Soldier Systems

Rangers alert and on patrol in Virunga National Park, arguably the most dangerous park due to poaching and interest in oil. photo: Soldier Systems

In 2013, Transfrontier Africa broke new ground by initiating the first all women anti-poaching teams. By engaging the community and employing local women to help protect Balule Nature Reserve, it helped empower the community and change the face of game rangers. Far from the traditional ranger, but thus far, the program has been highly successful in keeping down poaching.

black mambas training

Black Mambas in training exercises at Balule. photo: Protrack APU

Rangers are tough as nails and defend rhinos with their lives. So what wouldn’t they do to fight poaching?

In 2014, a former model and photographer took a unique approach to raising funds for rhino conservation. A dozen park rangers took things a step further and bared all in a naked calendar shoot. Innovative, slightly humorous, but courageous. And still quite serious. As said by one of the participants, Sibu Nziwe, “I have chosen to work for nature and give up the competition for jobs in the cities. I have sacrificed my social life with family and friends in the city for a greater cause.”

naked ranger 1

Rangers bared all in a 2015 calendar, raising awareness and funds toward their jobs and the crisis of poaching. photo: Josie Borain

What’s next? Whatever it may be, rest assured they will get it done. Dedicated, courageous, adapting-these men and women sacrifice themselves in ways most of us can’t imagine. There is nothing they can’t or won’t do. They are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and heroes. They are rangers.

 

Categories: Making a Difference, Ranger Heroes, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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