Media Release: SANParks honours rangers for their hard work
During his keynote address at the event, the South African National Parks’ (SANParks) Chief Executive Officer, Dr David Mabunda praised the Ranger Corps for their anti poaching successes; saying that “although it is worrying that we are still losing such a high number of rhinos throughout the country, the most encouraging area in this whole saga is the increasing number of successful arrests and the steeper sentences that are being imposed on convicted criminals targeting our giant of the African bush – the rhinoceros”.
Attended by members of the SANParks staff members, members of the media, representatives of the provincial and local Municipalities, representatives of the security structures such as SAPS and SANDF and various other distinguished guests; the SANParks Ranger’s Day is an annual event where the park’s regional rangers, section rangers and field rangers are able to demonstrate their skills and show their dedication to their responsibility of protecting the area integrity of the world’s most famous protected areas.
Dr Mabunda said the current high rate of the onslaught on our rhino should be used as a mechanism to mobilize a majority of law abiding citizens against a criminal minority. “We appeal to our communities to assist in apprehending the criminals”; he said.
“We have to bridge the divides in our country and with this phenomenal contribution of looking after our country’s heritage; I believe that you have shown yourself to be part of the solution. Your sacrifices are noted and most appreciated; Dr Mabunda added, referring to efforts by a number of law enforcement agencies such as the SAPS Organised Crime Unit, The Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African National Defence Force that remain committed to Operation Rhino as well as the Honorary Rangers, businesses and ordinary members of the communities.
The rangers treated the crowd, with first aid treatment, rifle range shooting, motorbike displays, drilling, singing, parade skills, musketry, impressive fire and movement “mock assault” on fictitious group of armed poachers; showing their responsibility of the total welfare of the park.
“Rangers are, and will always be, key to our operation as a national park and I thank you for your efforts over the last few years wherein rhino poaching has escalated at an unprecedented rate over the country”, Dr Mabunda concluded.
SANParks has 21 National Parks; and on daily basis, Rangers look after these parks by conducting daily patrols, looking out for snares, signs of poaching activity and report on other eventualities such as erosion, alien plants and the total integrity of our environment. Law enforcement and community relations are some of the efforts that also form part of the rangers’ duties.
KNP’s Marula North Rangers display the rifle range shooting
Golden Gate Rangers demonstrate how to carry out first aid treatment on a fellow injured ranger
KNP’s Nxanatseni South Rangers perform drilling and parade at the World Ranger Day
A mock-up poaching incident wherein the anti-poaching team, with the help of the sniffer dog manage to catch a poacher
Letaba Section Ranger, Andrew Desmet joined his fellow Rangers in celebration of the World Ranger Day. With him is wife Linda.
SANParks CEO, Dr David Mabunda and KNP Managing Executive, Mr Abe Sibiya, just after watching the mock-up poaching incident.
South African National Parks (SANParks), Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4262
GM: Communications and Marketing, Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4363; Cell: 082 807 3919
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
GM: Media & Stakeholder Relations, SANParks
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999
Media Specialist, SANParks
Tel: (012) 426 5315; Cell: 083 673 6974