Field rangers on bicycles/motor cycles

Discuss the interaction between humans and nature
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Imberbe
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Unread post by Imberbe »

wildtuinman wrote:I don't agree, Imberbe.

There are field rangers and there are anti-poaching units. They don't necessary form the same group.


The main anti-poaching activities "on the ground" inside the park is done by the field rangers stationed in the 22 ranger sections, which is directly under the command of the local Section Ranger. They intentionally patrol to spot and confront poachers. I have seen them train for precisely this type of encounter. Ironically, the weapons the most of the field rangers carry is much more suited for anti-poaching activities, rather than defending against animals! That tells you something!!

There is a special unit (CIS) that does the "overhead" work of gathering information, studying trends, deciding on strategies, etc. etc. But this is a small unit, and they have limited operational abilities.

Here is an explanation:


SANParks Corporate Investigation Services (CIS)
History

During 1994 Ken Maggs was transferred to the Anti Poaching Unit after the untimely and tragic death of Sam Fourie in 1993. At the time the Unit, comprising only Ken was based in Skukuza. The idea was that the Unit’s responsibilities would offer a support function in co-ordinating the anti-poaching actions for the Kruger National Park as a whole, collect poaching related intelligence and information and offer assistance in investigations as well as related court proceedings while the Section Rangers, backed by their Field Rangers would continue to act as the front line action against poaching activity as they had done ever since the establishment of the KNP.

......

During 1998 the SANParks Board took a decision to expand the responsibilities of the Anti Poaching Unit to include the co-ordination of the counter poaching strategy for all National Parks.

.....

During 1999 the section changed its name from the Anti Poaching Unit to the Environmental Crime Investigation Services (ECIS). This was done to ensure that the sections responsibilities and activities expand into all aspects of environmental crime activities impacting on the SANParks and not just anti poaching. Due to its expanding mandate the section once again changed its name to the Corporate Investigations Service (CIS).


Patrols

The Rangers primary function is to ensure the integrity of the section and therefore counter poaching efforts counts very high amongst a long list of responsibilities. It is the Section Rangers duty to ensure that his area is patrolled on a regular basis and that poaching incursions into the park are detected early. He is also responsible for the follow-up of such incursions and the subsequent apprehension of suspects in this regard. The sections are patrolled on a daily basis by well trained Field Rangers. This patrolling acts as a deterrent as well as an early warning and re-active counter measure.



As for the "rangers pickets." I have seen some with only thorn pickets around, and some which consist of temporary buildings with absolutely no "fencing" of any description.

I have never felt threatened sleeping in such a thorn picket, but we do play it "save" and either have a guard or sleep in tents. It has to be remembered that lions are territorial. I would be much more circumspect in areas of the park where lion are known to prey on humans travelling through the park!

As for Botswana. I hear that there is a growing problem with predators such as hyena attacking people. They are growing used to people, helped by the fact that they are getting fed!
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ndloti
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Unread post by ndloti »

I read in a book about a field ranger who came round a corner on a gravel road with a steep descent at some speed, only to find an elephant blocking the road and when he back pedalled to apply the rear brakes the bicycle chain had come off the sprocket preventing him from applying rear brakes and stopping in time.
He collided with the elephant who was largely unaware of his approach.
Last edited by ndloti on Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.
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Imax
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Unread post by Imax »

LMAO.... I can just imagine the expression on the ellies face as this ranger hits him in the behind. :lol: :lol:
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Bennievis
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Unread post by Bennievis »

This has turned into a most fascinating thread. I'd like to see more Field Ranger stories here such as the ones from the Custos magazines. "n Veldwagter se dagboek" (?)
I believe these stories are out in book form?
I would like to get myself a copy. Any help on the name and where to order from will be most appreciated. I looked in our local bookshops but as can be expected could not find anything.
Were there not articles in Custos written by the Kruger Park chopper pilot at the time? I vaguely remember a story about a field ranger and an ellie on the same foot path heading towards each other. The chopper pilot was watching the drama (comedy) from the air. The ranger on his bicycle made a u-turn in mid air and ellie ran in the opposite direction when they eventually came face to face. :tongue:
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Wild@Heart
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Unread post by Wild@Heart »

Let anyone say my posts aren't "pearls of wisdom" :twisted:

Veldwagters Vertel ... Veldwagtes Vertel Verder ... Mannen van de Wilderniss ... The Game Rangers (Tales from the African Bush)

And if you like those .. you might find this one interesting as well .. Expect the Unexpected

Most of them available in Kruger Shops .. so book your next trip

Die Veldwagters Vertel Verder
Author(s): Jan Roderigues
Publisher :Beria Uitgewers
ISBN number :0620314451

The Game Rangers : 78 Authentic Stories From The African Bush
Author: Roderigues, Jan
Publisher: J.A. Roderigues
ISBN: 0620169125
Published: 1992

Mannen Van De Wildernis
Author(s): Jan Roderigues
Publisher: De Kern, Baarn
ISBN: 90 325 0855 5
Published: 2002
NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER
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DotDan
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Unread post by DotDan »

Saw a ranger on a bicycle coming down on the H6, we were busy looking at 2 ellie bulls at the time..When he saw what we were looking at he used our car as a shield in a way. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Field rangers on bicycles/motor cycles

Unread post by kaka_sparrow »

just got back from kruger and for the first time seen 4 game rangers on foot on the s3 and about 2km after that 2 rangers on bicycles. amazing :big_eyes:
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Dangerous Encounters at KNP on Bike Rangers?

Unread post by Mavusana »

Has it ever happened at KNP for the rangers :?: on bicycles to have Dangerous Encounters :?: with animals/poachers? I admire their courage and I've seen pics of these brave guys on this forum.

I believe that the only way to learn about your surroundings is to ask questions? I'm very much interest about the life of those brave men and women within the parks to protect our wildlife.
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Re: Dangerous Encounters at KNP on Bike Rangers?

Unread post by Blougansie »

:thumbs_up: I agree whole- heartedly Mavusana ; these are often the unsung heroes of large but essential organizations like for instance Sanparks . Without these guys , much of the effort , time and money that goes into managing these wild areas will certainly only be a waste of time. Their role in patroling , looking for snares , monitoring animal numbers , animal diseases , veld conditions , watering holes ,fences etc etc , to much to mention here , often in adverse and dangerous conditions , certainly demand our respect and goodwill towards them.
What I've seen of these guys are that they are very well trained , often highly skilled in tracking animals , and they are able , through years and years of experience of working in natural areas and with wild animals , some of which can sometimes be quite unpredictable , that they seem to have developed a different set of senses (hearing , seeing , smelling ) to give them a better understanding and feel for the bush . They have a better sense of awareness , compared to some , for instance other people or tourists who visits the parks on a less frequent basis.
Another important role or function that one must not forget , is their role in enviromental education - this meaning that they are representing the parks when they go into adjacent communities to the parks , where they also play a valuable role in promoting and educating people in those communities , about the importance of conservation and the role of the parks in supplying work and income to people in those communities.
They sometimes also have to deal with the public , the tourists that come into the parks to view the plants and animals - unfortuanatly one occasionaly finds the idiots who are under the impression that the parks belong to only them - these guys are trained for these eventualities , and although one never likes to see this , they have the right to arrest these troublemakers; this one of the 'not so nice things' they also have to do sometimes.
These are guys to be very proud of . They are the first line of defence for the beautifull parks and natural areas , that all we South Africans , can be truly proud of.
I hope this gives you a little more insight into their work and some of the dangers etc that they face , sometimes on a daily basis.
Good luck with your answers here - I'm sure the other members will add a lot still - Cheers :clap:
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Re: Dangerous Encounters at KNP on Bike Rangers?

Unread post by Imvubu »

:clap: :clap: Here's to the Bike Rangers :clap: :clap:
Keep up the good work :thumbs_up:
You have my highest respect and admiration...as well as a little :mrgreen: , although I cannot pretend to have nearly as much courage and knowledge as you!!
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CuriousCanadian
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Re: Dangerous Encounters at KNP on Bike Rangers?

Unread post by CuriousCanadian »

We came across this man, just past Orpen Dam (Mar 08)...and have always regretted not getting his attention & giving him a cold bottle of water!! :slap:

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Re: Field rangers on bicycles/motor cycles

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

Daniel still cycles to Hippo Pools and back..... Last month I saw him on his way back, and we had just passed a breeding herd of ellies. I had a full car or would have offered him a lift. I did the only thing I could - turned round and let him use the car as a shield as we rode past the herd. Then with a cheery wave he said ' they won't catch me now!' and cycled off.
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bert
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Re: Field rangers on bicycles/motor cycles

Unread post by bert »

Saw three guys with semi automatic rifles and red bicycles near Sweni Hide.
First asked permission before taking the picture
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ndloti
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Re: Dangerous Encounters at KNP on Bike Rangers?

Unread post by ndloti »

In 1984 I saw 2 field rangers on bicycles approaching a pair of courting lions right alongside the Skukuza / L Sabie road I had just been observing not 300m back . The male lion had been quite agitated by the procession of cars stopping and jockeying for the best viewing position and it was time to move off to give someone else a chance to be growled at .
I stopped and told them of the apparent danger , but to them it was all in a days work , I turned the car around and watched as they proceeded to ride up to nearby , they dismounted and walked past while pushing their cycles , not even taking their rifles off their backs to be ready in case of trouble .
I was surprised that the lions were very much otherwise occupied to take exception .

I do remember a tale that I read , I am not sure of the exact details , but here goes (quoting from memory) ...
A field ranger was freewheeling down a road with an incline , the road curved and at the bottom there was a drift , an elephant was standing in the way , now as the rangers bicycle was fitted with back pedal brakes he tried to stop in time , but the chain was a little slack and had come off the sprocket preventing the brakes from being applied .
Apparently the ranger collided with the unsuspecting elephant who got a large enough fright to send him careering off into the bushes .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.
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Bennievis
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Re: Dangerous Encounters at KNP on Bike Rangers?

Unread post by Bennievis »

Ndloti :thumbs_up:
your story reminded of of a simular one I heard from a Rangers son, also involving two Bike rangers who went down an incline, chatting away. At the bottom however were some lions taking an afternoon nap. The two rangers casually rang their bicycle bells and the lions politely made way for them to pass. :big_eyes:
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