Posts Tagged With: hero
Age: 24 years old
Location: Tanzania Mwanza region
I choose to be a ranger because when I was young I got interested in wild and domestic animals. The issue of conservation is in my blood and was also my dreams, because my father also is a veterinary.
When the time goes and the population of human beings increase, so does the issue of poaching of animals such as elephants and rhinos and antelopes. That activity make me unhappy so I told my father that I want to study in a College of Wildlife Management; when I was studying my ambition was to be working in a National Park or Game reserve.
What has been your most rewarding and most difficult moment as a ranger?
As a ranger my most rewarding time is during Summer season because of the infrastructure of road is good when moving from one place or one point to another point. The most difficult time as a ranger is during the Winter or rain season because of the infrastructure is not suitable.
How much do you work, what is your schedule like?
I work day and night, summer and winter, all seasons of the year to ensure that our wild animals who are mostly sought after by poachers are surviving and are not killed.
What’s your favorite meal?
Ma favourite meal is Ugali,Rice and meat or fish
Where would you like to travel someday?
Everyday there is another poaching, most of the time another life taken. But for the “lucky” few, they survive.
For those rhinos, it’s not just a matter of providing a bit of veterinary care, then sending them on their way. The physical and emotional toll it takes lasts the rest of their days.
A couple of months ago we were in Kariega Reserve and had the privilege of meeting one of my heroes, Thandi, the rhino who cheated what seemed certain death.
On our second siting of Thandi and “baby” Thembi, it was immediately obvious from a distance that something was different. As she moved through the grass, happily grazing with Thembi not far behind, the sun shone off her face showing a glint of red. Moving in closer, there was no doubt it was bloody and raw.
After numerous skin grafts, being anesthetized and treated, this is as good as it will ever be for her. Even the best of veterinary care and creative “bandaging”, cannot hold up to rhino life. There is a bull in the area who does what comes natural, the equivalent of rhino flirting. Through pushes and bumps, the thin skin over her nasal area isn’t as sufficient as the protection of her own horn.
She doesn’t seem to be in pain, as she happily munches her grass or gives Thembi “love taps”. In fact, the blood was the only sign something was wrong.
But as Thembi grows older, Thandi will mate again, hopefully making Thembi a big sister. Rhino mating is not a gentle process!
The Kariega staff and veterinary team keep a close eye on their star. She is in good hands, but seeing the occasional re-opening of the wound is a constant reminder of her struggle, of the long road we are all traveling in the poaching war to prevent other rhinos from the same horrible fate.
The objective of the Black Mambas is not only the protection of rhinos through boots on the ground but also through being a role model in their communities. These women work to the concept of the “Broken Window” philosophy and strive to make their area of influence the “most undesirable, most difficult and least profitable place to poach”.
Recently we asked two of the rangers, Shipwe and Collett, about their jobs…
FFR: Why did you join the Black Mambas?
Collett: Seeing rhinos being killed each and everyday, it helped my heart to make a decision that enough is enough with the killing. I joined the Mambas to stop the killing.
Shipwe: I joined to help make a difference in saving and protecting our rhinos.
FFR: What is the toughest part of being a Black Mamba?
Collett: Seeing a dead rhino carcass in front of me makes my heart bleed and it disturbs me a lot.
Shipwe: Knowing that we are dealing with dangerous people. I mean poachers you don’t know where you’ll find them out there in the field, but we know how to handle it.
FFR: What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
Collett: Doing road blocks, searching cars that are going out of the reserves for unpermitted things.
FFR: Do you feel you’re treated differently than men in APUs?
Collett: No, they treat me as an APU, not as a man or a woman.
Shipwe: No, I feel treated very well. It seems we are the first females to be in this field.
FFR: What have you learned since joining the Mambas that you didn’t know before?
Collett: How to do a bush walk.
Shipwe: I have learned how to interact with animals of all kinds because I work with them almost everyday.
FFR: What can your community do to best support you?
Collett: Stop coming from the reserve and poaching, because these people are coming from our communities.
Shipwe: By organizing meetings so that I can go and teach them, young and old people, about saving our nature and reserves.
FFR: You are an inspiration to your community, as well as to girls who may not have thought of being in a APU before. What would you say to girls or women who are thinking of doing the same job?
Collett: To do this job is not simple, so they need to be in love with animals and have a mind-set of wanting to protect our rhinos more than to think about money or other stuff.
Shipwe: I can say to them they need to have a big heart to do it, because it requires all your energy, your ability to think and the courage to do it.
The Black Mambas have identified and destroyed over 12 poachers’ camps and 3 bush meat kitchens within the “buffer-zone” as well as reduced snaring and poisoning activities by 76% within their area of operation since their deployment in 2013.
July 31st is World Ranger Day, one of our favorite days, as we give respect and appreciation to all the men and women for protecting our wildlife.
These people ARE the frontline in the poaching war. Without them, rhinos, elephants, lions, gorillas, pangolins would surely have been wiped out by now.
We cannot emphasis enough the importance of wildlife rangers.
In honor of this day, we would like your help in showing gratitude. Please send us a note of thanks to share with them for all they do. We’ll be taking comments up until the 31st. email@example.com
We will share your messages on July 31st, World Ranger Day.
Rangers are on the front line every day protecting our wildlife. Dedication is an understatement, as they pour 100% of their time and effort into guarding rhinos, ensuring safety for tourists and helping to keep daily life at Ol Pejeta running smoothly.
Age: 26 years old
Location: Ol Pejeta Conservancy
What has been your most rewarding OR most difficult moment as a ranger?
It is a hard time when the moon is full.
How much do you work?
I work 84 hours a week. I have 6 days off a month.
Where would you like to travel someday?
What is your favorite meal?
What do you wish you had to fight poachers?
More arms, good vehicles and to boost security.
What do your family/friends/significant other think of your profession?
They appreciate what I do, but they worry too.
While on holiday, while his parents were napping, Luke grabbed his camera and spent the afternoon watching out for birds and animals coming to drink from the pan near their bush camp.
“We were enjoying an afternoon nap when Luke woke us up: ‘Dad, Mom … come quickly. There is a rhino with a snare around it’s foot. We have to help it!’”
Then he showed them close-up pictures he had taken of the rhino’s badly injured front leg.
Just 9 years old, Luke asked his parents to call the camp and report the injury. They did. Although helpful, there was no ‘instant’ response. Not satisfied, he insisted they do more. So his father loaded a picture of the wounded animal to his cellphone and sent it via WhatsApp to the rangers.
“It turned out that they were busy dealing with snare injuries to other animals, but when they saw the WhatsApp picture they arrived within 10 or 15 minutes.”
The wounded rhino was immoblized and treated. If it wasn’t for Luke, the rhino would have suffered a slow death from the snare. The vet who treated the injured bull, said the injury had been caught just in time, before the snare cut the rhino’s tendons.
We can never begin to imagine what rangers go through or thank them enough for their tireless work for our wildlife on a daily basis. Bottom line-if there were no rangers, there would be no rhinos or elephants left. Here is yet another hero, dedicating himself to our wildlife…
What is the most difficult thing about your job as a ranger?
My most difficult moment was when I went through some disciplinary process famously known as ‘orderly room processing’ for a mistake made by my colleague and not me. Just because the lady ranger was in a relationship with an officer. I was therefore made sacrificial lamb.
Where would you like to visit someday?
I would love to visit South Africa see how they protect their wildlife. And the USA to see generally how life is in the “first world”.
What is your favorite meal?
Ugali (famous in East Africa) and some roast meat(Nyama Choma)
What would your ideal day be?
My ideal day would be when am home with my family,my wife and 3 boys and a daughter; normally 5 days after every three months, and 30 total working days annual leave, once every year.
What do you wish you had to fight poaching?
To fight poachers we need tents and night vision goggles (since rhino poachers have become nocturnal) We would also need water tanks at the Rhino bases.
What do your family and friends think of your job?
My family/friends see me as privileged to be here keeping wildlife. When I am home my sons John, Bill and Wycliffe and their grandparents ask me if the animals are safe when I’m away. Wycliffe my 4 year son calls himself Leopard/Chui in Swahili.
If you could do something else, would you?
If I was to do something else, I want to be a pilot. Flying aircrafts to provide security for wildlife, provide veterinary support services for research and translocation purposes; animal game census and transport of rations (including ammunition) to rangers in anti poaching units. Or be a lecturer teaching Wildlife,environment and Tourism management.
“Going to church does not make you any more of a christian than standing in a garage would make you a car. It is all about Faith. My love for our animals and now my decision to protect them goes beyond Faith and passion. God bless us the wildlife guardians and sworn warriors. Our wildlife our heritage.”
Spotlighting one of Kenya’s finest wildlife warriors-
Name: Jackson Pemba Kuyioni
Age: 24 years old
Location: Nairobi National Park, Rhino Unit
What is the most rewarding thing about your job as a ranger?
Jack: The most rewarding part is that i have developed both socially and economically.I have interacted with different people from different places worldwide and as a result shared experiences, ideas among others. Socially have resulted to my economic development especially when I meet with businessmen and women, as they encourage me in protecting flora and fauna. This is where I got ideas of investment which am planning to do.
What are the biggest challenges?
Jack: Challenges I face as ranger are quite numerous but these are the major ones *harsh environments especially during the rain ,cold and presence of moonlight which is advantageous to poachers.
*lack of teamwork (although its rare)
*lack of modern equipment (eg.GPS,night vision)
*limited time with my family and friends
*long working hours
Where would you like to visit?
Jack: America and Australia
What’s your favorite meal?
Jack: Milk and ugali
What are your hobbies?
Jack: Bird-watching, watching wildlife documentaries, nature walks and visiting friends.
What do you wish you had to help fight poachers?
Jack: I believe there are many things, but community involvement is the best. Community is a stakeholder in conservation ; in Kenya about 60% of wildlife is outside protected areas where in this places they coexist with people. Poachers live in the community and they are members , once the community is educated then getting information about poachers will be easier.
Why did you become a ranger?
Jack: I became a ranger because of the passion I had for wildlife conservation, I am passionate of being a ranger and am proud of it. I admire anything related to wildlife. Before I became a ranger I had a lot of interest in conservation but when I became a ranger it was the best for me, interracting directly with wildlife.
What do your family and friends think of your profession?
Jack: They always say i am well paid, that I am playing critical role in protecting wildlife . Some think that its an easy job, to some its hard especially dealing with problematic animals like hippopotamus.
‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 by Theodore Rooseveldt. So pertinent to Africa’s rangers.
Borrowed from Game Rangers Association, and wholeheartedly dedicated to every ranger and person actively working to save our rhinos. Each of you hold immeasurable worth.