Posts Tagged With: Namibia

What’s happening to Etosha’s rhinos?

 

Namibia- Between 2009 and 2011 only one rhino was poached each year. The country had been seen as a model for anti-poaching effectiveness. Much of this has been due to the pro-active attitude of government and their cooperative efforts with communities and conservation groups, such as the Save the Rhinos Trust.

save the rhino trust photo

Save the Rhino Trust conducting rhino sitings with tourists.

In the previous ten years (from 2005 to 2014) 8 white rhinos and 95 black rhinos were poached in total.

Then in 2014,  a total of 24 rhinos were poached.

In response to the loss, in June of last year the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, announced that the government takes poaching in a very serious light.

“Our rangers are not properly trained and they are not dedicated. Thus there is a need to intensify patrols and we will deploy a helicopter that will patrol the park. We are trying by all means to seal our borders and to put trained rangers at our key designated border posts, ports and airports. We are also having talks with international partners to stop the marketing of rhino horns,” he said.

etosha national park

Etosha National Park is 22,270sq km (8600sq mi), slightly larger than Kruger National Park in South Africa

In addition to the aerial patrols, there was a costly and extensive initiative to fully fence off Etosha National Park, which has not yet been completed.

Despite the best of efforts, in 2015 poaching increased to 83 rhinos, mostly in Etosha National Park.

Sadly, no country is exempt from the prolific poaching of rhinos and elephants, and Namibia is indeed feeling the heat.  Now only 2 months into 2016, after both aerial and foot patrols, a total of 34 rhino carcasses were  discovered.  29 of them all in Etosha National Park.

The carcasses are a mixture of old and new, spanning a 1 year period, according to the deputy inspector-general for operations of the Namibian police, Major General James Tjivikua.

A new anti-poaching commander in Etosha was announced following this discovery, and the anti-poaching operations continue. In addition, there are efforts by a  private conservation trust in Namibia to raise funds to acquire flight drones in the area.

black rhino in etosha via namibiansun

  Black rhino in Etosha, via Namibian Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mixed Messages are killing our elephants and rhinos

To crush or hoard?

That is the dilemma for African countries with ivory stockpiles. It’s a polarizing debate. Destruction eliminates any and all possibility at corruption, it will not find its way back on the market and it sends a clear message ivory NOT attached to the animal has no value.

But the other side believes saving and selling the ivory allows the money to be rolled back over into conservation efforts for the animals, and the communities.

The problem is that elephants and rhinos exist throughout the African continent, making the “product” available in multiple countries, and each country has its own stance on stockpiling. So while Mozambique destroys ivory, directly across the border in Zimbabwe the country stores it, awaiting an opportunity to sell. This creates mixed messages and a lack of unity.

horns and tusks by reuters

Seized horns and tusks on display in Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters

Selling Ivory Funds Communities

Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa have a stock and sell take on ivory.

Namibia  Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta has said destroying the ivory and horn goes against government policy. Instead the stock is auctioned off to other interested countries.

“We will get a lot of money and the proceeds will go to state coffers to alleviate poverty. Also, we feel it is not an effective deterrent in fighting poaching,” said Shifeta.

While Botswana states it is “out of the question” to sell rhino horn, they’ve just announced they will seek permission to sell their ivory stockpile after the 10 years moratorium with CITES has expired in 2018.

Good news for the rhinos, considering the fact that Botswana is key to future rhino populations with the current translocations taking place from Kruger National Park.  Not so great for elephants.

Overall,  an interesting proposition considering the country’s strong stance on anti-poaching, and the large stake in their wildlife. 90% of tourists in Botswana come for the wildlife.

bots tourism

The wildlife tourism industry is estimated to continue to grow throughout the coming years, making it an invaluable component to the economy. Graph: World Travel & Tourism Council

 

 Destroy Ivory, Stop Poaching

Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi and Ethiopia have all held public burns/crushes to destroy their stockpiles of horn and ivory.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) spokesman Paul Udoto says the illegal ivory has no economic value to them, saying that “the selling is what has brought us to the state of poaching that we are in.”

kenya ivory burn bbc

Kenya burned 15 tonnes of ivory in March. President Kenyatta has vowed the entire stockpile will be burned this year. AFP photo

One-off Sales

So the hoard and sell leads to occasional one-off sales of a set amount for a limited time.

It is the belief of some that by CITES issuing these sales of horn or ivory, it fans the flames and results in a poaching spike, sending elephant and rhino populations into a tailspin. Afterall how can we  allow LEGAL one-off sales of a product AND simultaneously strive at reducing demand for the same product? Confusing to say the least.

The experts who work with elephants are in agreement.

cynthia moss 1It is very discouraging having to fight the battle to save elephants once again. The 1989 ban helped elephants to recover in most parts of Africa. Now even in Amboseli we’re losing elephants to ivory poachers for the first time in many years. The sale of any ivory–legal or not–is creating demand. No one needs ivory. It is a beautiful substance, but the only ones who need it are elephants.

– Cynthia Moss, Amboseli Elephant Research Project

ian redmond 2As long as ivory is valued as a commodity, every tusker is at risk from poachers, and only where anti-poaching efforts are sufficient will elephants survive. Anti-poaching costs money and lives. Banning the ivory trade has been the single-most effective and economical way to slow the loss of elephants across their whole range – not just where they can be protected by anti-poaching units. 

Ian Redmond, OBE Wildlife biologist and Ambassador for the UNEP Convention on Migratory Species

So who do we listen to? The experts who work with these creatures, seeing their lives and deaths and the daily effects of poaching? Or political officials with a mixed bag of agendas?

If we must view elephants, rhinos or other animal in economic terms, then we must factor in tourism. Without wildlife, there is no tourism. Period.

To read more about the fight to ban ivory and save elephants: Born Free Foundation 

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Elephant herd on a dusty day in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Photo: Tisha Wardlow

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Rape and Pillage of Africa’s Wildlife

The Chinese are welcomed into parts of Africa with increasing regularity to “work” and “aid” Africans with economic gains. With the intent of modernizing infrastructures (roads and railways), or to mine minerals or to offer government incentives, they have become integrated into at least 24 countries across the dark continent over the last five years.

chinese investment in africa 2010

A delicate and controversial marriage to say the least, as they seemingly covet Africa’s jobs, land and minerals.

One thing that cannot be denied is the boldness with which they have exploited Africa’s wildlife. According to Born Free USA,  “Chinese illicit ivory traffickers in particular have been arrested across nearly every single African range state, and operate at nearly every point along the ivory supply chain.”

Tanzania – In a report from the Environmental Investigation Agency, interviews with poachers claim they have sold ivory to members of the Chinese Embassy. It also links a surge in the Tanzanian ivory market during an official visit from a Chinese naval task force and even claims that members of President Xi Jinping’s entourage smuggled ivory out of Tanzania on the presidential plane during his visit in March 2013.

 Republic of Congo – Asian migrant laborers are involved in the logging industry here (70-75% of which is illegal), and are in direct contact with elephants and other area wildlife. It has been suspected their presence has been responsible for increased poaching.

congolese worker watched by chinese foreman

Congolese worker being watched by Chinese foreman. photo: Saturday’s Daily Telegraph

Mathieu Eckel, head of the APU in Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Congo has been watching activity of the Chinese construction camps in the area. He said “We’ve had many stories that involve local poachers and Chinese, but to get the Chinese you have to find them with the ivory”.

In previous attempts where workers in the area had been caught red-handed, corruption or incompetence of Congolese Prosecution has led to no charges being filed. (CNN Report)

Gabon – After seeing elephant skins hanging outside a construction camp, rangers raided the camp and seized carved chopsticks, horns sheared from a Bongo antelope, the scales of a pangolin, a quantity of unworked ivory, and breakfast: several servings of roasted elephant trunk.

Lee White, the head of Gabon National Parks said, “The suspicion is they were hiding the finished pieces (of ivory) in timber containers which were being shipped to China.”

Zimbabwe – Perhaps one of the most controversial and heartbreaking moves comes from the government allowing China to come into the National Park and remove elephants for their zoos, many of them have been infants ripped from their mothers. Zimbabwe’s defense- the sale of the elephants is needed to raise funds for conservation efforts. 

Zimbabwe elephant herd

A herd of African elephants drinking at a muddy waterhole in Hwange national Park in Zimbabwe. Photograph: Zdenek Maly/Alamy

Rhinos of course have also been a target. John Pameri, head of security and chief ranger at the Lewa Conservancy in Kenya believes the recent influx of Chinese construction workers into Kenya has helped to renew awareness among locals and crime networks that rhino horns can be sold for thousands of pounds on the black market.

“Our local intelligence suggests some of the poachers come from Somalia, but the demand is from the Chinese workers,” Pameri stated.

lewa rhino

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is one of the two main rhino sanctuaries in East Africa. Luckily in 2014, with high security, they managed to evade any poaching incidents. photo: Lewa Conservancy

The Kenya Wildlife Service has also noted a correlation between the influx of Chinese labour and poaching, and has blamed the crisis on the increasing number of Chinese nationals living in Kenya. (There are currently between 3000-10000 Chinese living in Kenya).

Other victims found at these construction sites include giraffes, pythons, leopards and even local dogs being poached and consumed by the workers. In Zimbabwe authorities found 40 rare tortoises at a worker’s home, most of which were merely skeletal remains left after consumption.

But the culprits are not just in the construction sector, Chinese merchants often sell cheap trinkets and clothing in small shops throughout Africa, but the real money is in their back door business of wildlife trade. One such area revealed in an investigation by Hongxiang Huang and Oxpeckers exposed Katima, Namibia as a central hub of trading between trans-border African smugglers and Chinese shop keepers and traders.

Many of these shop owners are linked to the ivory trade in the guise of buying and selling of ivory souvenirs and artifacts for export and sale to tourists, which is perceived to be legal.

South Africa is seeing the largest flux of Chinese migrants. Wildlife trafficking syndicates here continue to brazenly sell rhino horn and ivory at the Chinese markets in SA’s own capital cities, even in the face of global attempts to crack down on the illicit trade in endangered species.

The Chinese have a poor track record when it comes to wildlife conservation, but African countries must accept responsibility for protecting their own wildlife. The price of losing the land and animals is too great to pay for any economic gain.

elephant coming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Voice of Reason

The permission has been granted for the American trophy hunt of a Namibian black rhino. The stance of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is that by killing this “old bull” it will aid in conservation. But I invite the director Daniel Ashe to listen closely to the people who know best, the men and women on the ground.

black rhino alamy

Namibian black rhino (by Alamy)

 “In forty years of close association with black rhinoceros, I have NEVER known of a free ranging wild old male past his breeding period targeting, and killing, rhino females and calves but, rather, the odd fights have only, in my own experience, occurred amongst breeding competing males, as is common in other species.

In Africa old age is respected: by extension, it is un-African and basically unethical not to allow an old male that sired many calves a peaceful retirement, in the same way as breeding bulls in the cattle world are put out to pasture, not sent to the butcher, once they stop being productive. It is equally unethical to use two sets of measures for poachers, who shoot a wild animal for financial gain, and are arrested or shot, and for a wealthy legal hunter who can pay a fortune for the pleasure to kill it, and is congratulated instead? In both cases a dead endangered animal is the end product. This auction is cruel, ill-timed, and to be condemned.

If the person bidding to shoot the rhino bull has that spare cash available, why not DONATE it to the cause and leave the poor rhino alone? The old rhino does not deserve a bullet.

– Kuki Gallmann; Conservationist, author, founder of The Gallmann Memorial Foundation and honorary game warden.” 

 

Please tell the USFWS how your feel (civilly)    USFWS

Email: dan_ashe@fws.gov
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/usfws
Twitter: @DirectorDanAshe @SecretaryJewell
‪ #‎ShameUSFWS‬ ‪#‎KillTheTrade‬

 

– See more at: http://africageographic.com/blog/kenyan-rangers-moving-letter-to-american-rhino-hunter/#sthash.2r4GBqvU.dpuf

 

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In the Eye of the Storm

Tornado

by: Sarah Soward

 

The Debate

Trade talks are going strong in South Africa. The DEA’s (Department of Environmental Affairs) specially appointed “Committee of Inquiry” is hearing both sides in an ongoing debate on a topic that is irrelevant and distracting.

In a spot on observation by Allison Thomson, founder of OSCAP:

South Africa’s authorities need to understand that a trade proposal is the wrong way to go. It does not have the support of Asian rhino range states who indicated their wish to retain the trade ban in the Declaration from the First Asian Rhino Range States Meeting which took place in Indonesia on October 2013. Any proposal which might be put forward at the next CITES meeting, which will take place in South Africa in October 2016, is highly unlikely to succeed, which will be a huge public and political embarrassment for South Africa on home turf.

If the government put nearly as much effort into current, day-to-day anti-poaching strategies imagine the impact! Yet, anti-poaching strategies COST the government, whereas legal trade would give them a generous payout.

Perhaps no-one said it better than Chris Bean (Attorney) to the DEA:

“Should you manage to change direction of this ship then posterity will hail all of you as heroes.,” said Bean. “If you dither around and achieve nothing then you and the others in the Department of Environmental Affairs will be known as the corrupt losers who tried to rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic just before it sank.”

The Hunt

Just in yesterday:  the American trophy hunter who applied for the permit to kill the Namibian black rhino, in the name of conservation made news again. As the USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service) issued permission for the hunt to go ahead.

The agency, as well as pro-hunting advocates claim killing the older, less viable rhinos is necessary to promote healthy populations.

In a statement from Daniel Ashe, the USFWS director, “United States citizens make up a disproportionately large share of foreign hunters who book trophy hunts in Africa. That gives us a powerful tool to support countries that are managing wildlife populations in a sustainable manner and incentivize others to strengthen their conservation and management programs.”

With this in mind, the death of this rhino should then make way for the birth of more. Is there proof in this theory?

In the midst of it all, do pro-trade (which will not likely come to fruition without CITES or Asian support), or the killing of one or two black rhinos amount to measurable conservation? All smoke and mirrors, a distraction to the poaching and corruption. The focus needs to be on strategies that make a real difference. Relocation efforts, stepping up anti-poaching initiatives, and strengthening laws.

Let’s remember what matters most…

black rhino by jan hrbacek

Photo by: Jan Hrbacek

 

 

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The Desert dwelling Rhinos of Namibia

 

The black rhinos of Namibia are unique. Unlike their cousins in other countries, they thrive in the harsh, dry deserts of Namibia.

RHino tracking in namib

Rhino tracking in Namibia by Minnesota Zoo/Save the Rhinos Trust

*They have evolved to survive without water for two to three days.

Black rhino crash in Namibia (David Shephard Wildlife Foundation)

Black rhino crash in Namibia (David Shephard Wildlife Foundation)

*They have developed resistance to the toxic chemicals in plants native to the area.

euphorbia 3

The Euphorbia plant is a favorite among Namibian rhinos, especially during droughts.

*Their ranges are far greater than other black rhinos; spanning nearly 200 sq km (50,000 acres) which is twice as large as the rhinos in South Africa. A few individuals have even been reported to have ranges of over 700 sq km (173,000 acres)!

bl rhino namibia by dave hamman

NW Namibian Black Rhino by Dave Hamman.

 *Namibian black rhinos make up about a third of the world’s remaining rhino population.

 

 

 

 

 

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Namibia: Fighting Back Against Poaching

As prevalent as poaching is in Africa, for the last thirty years it was not an issue in Namibia; thanks in part to Save the Rhinos Trust.

“It was essentially not an issue anymore because conservation efforts put local communities at the center,” says Jeff Muntifering, a scientific advisor at Save the Rhinos Trust.

“It’s become socially unacceptable; poachers are viewed as stealing from the community.”

STR stepped in 30 years ago, offering poachers jobs as rangers, teaching the people how to appreciate, live with and benefit from the rhinos. With jobs and revenues directly connected to the survival of rhino in Kunene Namibia, everyone from farmers to tourist operators, visitors and even the Namibian government share concern for rhino welfare.

tracking rhino in nw namibia via

Tracking and recording a rhino siting via Save the Rhino Trust

However, with the poaching epidemic spiraling out of control in South Africa, it is becoming problematic to other countries; including the once seemingly untouchable rhinos of Namibia.

“We’ve come a long way since then (the start of the SRT program in Namibia), but organized poachers operating in our country pose the greatest threat to rhinos since Independence. After all we’ve fought for, this is unacceptable,” said Dr. Axel Hartmann, the longest-standing member of SRT’s Board of Trustees.

Unlike other countries, Namibia is taking a pro-active approach. It is no longer enough to track rhinos, SRT is tracking poachers.namibia

Centered in an area half a big as Kruger National Park (which is the size of Israel), with no National Park status, and in rugged desert terrain; this is no small feat. But the SRT is strengthening and re-structuring teams throughout the region to protect their rhinos.

With 3 decades of community and government cooperation and a highly successful ecotourism industry, Namibia seems deeply committed and prepared to take a stand.

Koos Verwey, a resource protection specialist working with the group stated“The poachers aren’t going anywhere, and we need to dig in for the long run. Make no mistake; in this fight we will lose more rhinos. But we have a great team of dedicated trackers, morale is high and we have broad support.”

desert dwelling rhino by alamy

Desert-dwelling black rhino in Namibia by: Alamy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bright spots in a Dark year

This  was a tough year for rhinos. No doubt about it. The poachings have amounted to over 1100 deaths in 2014. Outrage, grief and frustration weigh on the hearts of all of us, but there is no room for doubt or defeat. For behind the headlines of “another rhino poached”, lie seeds of hope and strength.

*Awareness groups in Vietnam, like ENV (Education for Nature Vietnam), WildAct and WildAid have launched campaigns to raise awareness and change attitudes in Vietnam about rhino horn use.

*The Javan rhino population has increased.

javan rhino

Javan rhino via International Rhino Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The US (the second largest ivory market in the world) announced a ban on commercial ivory.

*Rhinos Without Borders and And Beyond have aided in the translocation of rhinos into safer, intensive protection zones.

*Interpol is getting involved with seeking out the capture of rhino poachers, recognizing the importance of stopping poaching on a global, criminal level.

*Skukuza has increased the amount of poaching case prosecutions.

skuzuza court

38 poaching suspects appeared in just one day in this Skukuza courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Namibia has devoted a specialist military army to battle poaching in 2015

*The first ever World Youth Rhino Summit was convened, educating and empowering youth throughout multiple countries to be the future leaders in conservation efforts for rhinos.

*Protected areas in Sumatra have not seen any poaching incidents since 2006.

*There have been multiple arrests of poaching kingpins and syndicates; from a kingpin in Tanzania to Kwazu-natal to a syndicate in Czech-Republic.

*The death of Karanja, a 44-year-old black rhino with an intact horn, in the Masai Mara was of natural causes, not poaching.

*Kenya claims a 50% reduction in rhino poaching.

*The first birth of a new rhino at Imire in Zimbabwe, since their 2007 poaching tragedy

Shanu and babe

Mom and baby at Imire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With combined efforts, Fight for Rhinos is gearing up for 2015 to be a year of change. Together with Helping Rhinos, RPA, WildAct and you we can make a difference. “Endelea Kupigana” (Keep fighting)!

 

 

 

 

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Breaking the Silence on Poaching

Summit photo

Namibia, Tanzania, Togo, and Gabon leaders meet with the US Sec of State to discuss wildlife trafficking.

Washington DC:  African leaders and the US Secretary of State sit in a casual setting, exchanging niceties and discussing the decimation of our world’s wildlife, mainly elephants.

This week is the US African Leaders Summit, bringing together 50 African leaders and President Obama. Topics of discussion during the three-day summit include security, trade and governance.

During the wildlife trafficking discussion, Tanzania’s President, Jakaya Kikwete, seemed frustrated over the lack of unity throughout neighboring countries.

“The elephants are killed in Tanzania,” said Kikwete, “but the consignment [of ivory] came from Kampala, Uganda. And moved through Mombasa,” the main port of Kenya. “So there is definitely need for working together.”

Togo

Tusks from Gabon’s forest elephants were tracked through Togo en route to Asian countries.

The President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe, expressed concern over elephant poaching, which is ironic as there are no elephants there. He stated tusks confiscated in Hong Kong and Malaysia were traced back to Togo.

 

 

Gnassingbe said, “This is an embarrassment. We don’t want to be seen as a country that kills elephants it doesn’t have.”

After months of investigating the source of ivory was discovered. He said “Many of those tusks came from…(he then turned apologetically toward his left to Gabon’s President, Ali Bongo Ondimba)….my friend’s country.”

Gnassingbe went on to say that until the US brought this up, Gabon had never mentioned the issue of poaching. In fact, this is the first time many of them have had this discussion in a group setting. This begs the question “Why is there no continental strategy to end poaching?”

When asked what they would like from the US to combat poaching, the overall consensus was equipment. The ranger death toll is escalating, as they are deep in a war in which they are outmanned, outgunned and under trained.

Namibia asked for helicopters, Tanzania requested night vision goggles, Togo wants infrared scanners, and Gabon-military support.

But in addition, Ondimba apprehensively brought up the “elephant in the room”; diplomatic pressure on China, stating-

 “Let’s kill the market. We’ll save the animals, we’ll also save human being.”

gabon forest eles

Gabon forest elephants

 

 

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Rangers: the Frontline on the Rhino War

Wealthy Asian businessmen , airport seizures of horn and ivory, silent apathy from politicians, ongoing heated trade debates…a ferocious circle surrounding and depleting our rhinos and elephants. Yet, at the center of it all, on the blood soaked savanna stand the rangers.

Kws monument 2

The monument outside of KWS headquarters honors the fallen rangers.

Under the blazing sun or in pouring rain, no weekends or holidays, for little pay and high stakes-they are the only real obstacle standing between the poachers and the rhinos.

Often outgunned and outnumbered, each day is war. In Kenya hundreds of rangers have been shot in the last 3 years, and 13 killed.

A recent report from the Kenyan government sited “low morale” as being a huge problem in the bush for the Kenyan Wildlife Service rangers.

Is it any wonder?

Leaving their families for long periods of time, not knowing if they will see them again, often met with distrust and dislike from their own communities, they face death every day.

kws with poached rhino

KWS rangers stand over the carcass of a poached rhino.

What’s life like for a ranger? Here is a Q & A with a 14-year Namibian ranger. (see Unsung Heroes)

Q: What is a typical day on patrol like for you?

“Well its early up….after breakfast of only food in tins we start patrolling to see if we can’t find tracks of animals or poachers…..after we find tracks we follow…..till we get what we want. Sometimes we have to walk hours and lots of km a day to see the Rhinos or any other wildlife. We get to camp at dark and still have to make food, after that we get a few hours of sleep. Then comes night patrol. We have poachers coming at night to shoot the animals so we  have to be alert at all times. We get so tired but we help each other to stay awake.

This goes on for 10 to 15 days in  one area then we move again to the next.”

Q: What determines where you patrol? And how many of you are there at a time?

“We help lodges and farmers that breed wild animals and try to protect them. We have no routine, we go as we think its time or on request of the owners. We also work on the highways; that we do with police or the army. We help with road blocks and patrol with them helping with tracking and so on. We are about 30 guys depending on how much money we can get (as I pay them for their families, and for their supplies). Sometimes its only 6 guys.”

Q: Where does the funding come from?

“We get donations from people and the places where we work also help us with food for the periods.”

Q: It seems you must have a lot to take with you-the essentials for camping equip and food, weapons,etc?

“The weapons are our own, the tents we buy from china shops here. They are cheap but not strong so we have to change them out about every second month or so. We take nothing from nature ….no hunting or fishing for food….we take all with us when we go.”

Q: Do you have a lot of run-ins with poachers?

“Yes. We have a lot of run- ins with poachers….its easy to meet them when you live with them in the bush.”

Q: What’s the most dangerous situation you’ve been in?

“Well in 2005 one of our unit members was killed in a shoot out, but we caught them after 2 days of tracking. We were on highway patrol when we came upon the poachers. They started shooting at us as they tried to drive off….luckily none of us got shot THAT night too.”

Q: What’s the most rewarding situation you’ve had?

“One area in Namibia had a poaching problem for about 3 years…they heard of us and asked for help. We went in with about 12 members. We caught the poachers; they were police and nature conservation members along with the tribe king’s son. That was my best bust ever…..just their faces said it all.”

Q: What do you wish you had to make your job easier, more effective?

“Funds to get better equipment….this will make any job better and easy to do. We would  like to go on horse back doing bush patrols and when we move from one area to another we would like to  have some type of transport to help with the load. It’s nice working by foot but it can drain your body very quickly.”

Q: How does this fit in with married life and family? Is it difficult or do you get used to it?

“Yes it’s not easy on our lives if you have a wife and kids, but my wife understands and she is also into nature. You will never get used to it -being away from home. It’s very hard work..meaning the sun is really hot here, and  animals don’t stay in one place,  you have to follow them to make sure they are safe so its long distance walking.  And at  the same time you have to be alert for danger like wild animals, snakes and poachers. It’s not easy but I think it’s the best job in the world.”

Please help us support the rangers! We NEED them! For every 5 shirts purchased, we will send 1 to a Kenyan ranger. 

Support Rhinos and Rangers

armed guard rhinos

Armed ranger stands over rhinos at Ol Pejeta Consrevancy.

 

 

 

 

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