Media Release: Addo Elephant National Park celebrates World Ranger Day
Smoke bombs dropped from an overhead plane, flares shot into the air, gunshots ringing out, a high speed car chase and numerous arrests were the order of the day in Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) on Wednesday (31 July 2013) – but only as part of a simulated poaching exercise on World Ranger Day.
The day is celebrated annually, to remember the rangers who were killed or injured in the line of duty and to celebrate and acknowledge the work being done by both the men and women in green. On a daily basis, the world’s rangers put their lives in danger to protect the world's heritage, and with the current onslaught of rhino poaching in South Africa, these rangers are the last barrier between a rhino and a poacher.
Since the start of 2013, a total of 536 rhino have been killed for their horns, with the Kruger National Park remaining at the forefront of the onslaught. A total of 334 rhino have been poached in the Kruger National Park in the past seven months.
Today, AENP’s Management, Staff and Honorary Rangers came together to celebrate the occasion with the Park’s 75 member strong ranger contingent – those responsible for the Park not having suffered one case of poaching as yet.
Speaking at the event, Regional Ranger, John Adendorff, honoured the rangers on the work they do. “Over the past ten years, over one thousand rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty all over the world. Even though the threats increase daily, we’re here because we have a passion for what we do and we believe in this worthy cause – protecting our environment for our children and the generations to follow,” he said.
He went further, commending all his colleagues from other departments who had also gathered. “While we’re in the frontline, doing the actual anti-poaching and law enforcement, those of you behind the scenes who make our work possible are rangers in every sense of the word, too. You make us the success that we are, and I thank you,” said Adendorff.
Rangers moving in on a target during a simulated poaching incident.
A drilling exercise by some of Addo's Rangers.
Photographer: Johan Zwiegers
South African National Parks (SANParks) Frontier Region Communications
Tel: 042 233 8609
Fayroush Ludick: Regional Manager: Communications, SANParks
Tel: 042 233 8609; Cell: 082 888 0201
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