Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am Posts: 14122 Location: Pretoria, RSA
The counter poaching drives launched last year and early this year was a great success. I don't have the exact figures available at my finger tips, but just under R 2 million was raised by the Own the Night campaign run in it's various forms by the HR's.
You will notice that there are numerous accounts of successes being achieved and the "good guys" turning the screws tighter on the poachers. There are of course many reasons for this. But two of the major contributing factors are the fact that the rangers are now better trained and better equipped. This is in no small part due to the funds raised by this campaign, which specifically funded these two needs.
You will understand that I cannot divulge much more information as to what exactly was supplied to the rangers. And how much money was spent on which items. This can be sensitive information.
I was privileged to be present when some of the equipment was delivered to our rangers in KNP in May of this year. Just this morning I saw a letter where the rangers thanked the HR's for the items, and commented that they were extremely satisfied with what they received. I took a few very bad (sadly) photos of the proceedings. I will share a few of them beneath. Please also note that I could not post clear photos of faces, as it carries some risk to the people involved.
I think that I need to add that this challenge is far from over. There are many challenges remaining even though successes are being achieved, especially in KNP. Rhino are still being poached on a daily basis. The tide of poaching is still coming in, and much more will need to be done to turn it around.
We need to keep on supporting this effort, and spread it to more parks. We hope to have some news on this front soon.
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