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WORLD RANGER DAY 2022 - RECOGNISING RANGERS DIVERSITY

On World Ranger Day we pause to celebrate the ranger profession and to pay tribute to those rangers who have laid down their lives in defence of Africa’s natural heritage.

In line with the theme for World Ranger Day this year we celebrate the diversity of our profession. The diversity in age, looks, gender, culture and nationality of Africa’s rangers. The diversity in the landscapes and communities in which rangers work. The diversity of the terrain, climate and altitudes where rangers work. The diversity of the species and ecosystems that rangers protect. The diversity of the skills and roles that rangers perform across the continent. The diversity of the organisations that employ rangers like governments, community organisations, NGOs and volunteer groups. In diversity lies our strength!

We pay special tribute to our colleague Ranger Anton Mzimba, Head of Ranger Services at the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park who was brutally gunned down in his home on 26th July by assassins suspected to be linked to a rhino horn trafficking cartel. Anton’s wife was shot during the attack and critically injured. We hope and pray for her full and speedy recovery. Anton was the 295th ranger to be viciously murdered in Africa since 2011. A shocking statistic that highlights the odds against which many rangers work.

Anton was a leader in the African ranger community and his assassination marks a potential escalation in the lengths to which wildlife trafficking cartels will go to intimidate and discourage the conservation of rhinos, elephants, and all of Africa’s natural heritage.

A thorough investigation and aggressive prosecution of those involved in Anton Mzimba’s assassination is necessary to show rangers across the continent that they are supported, that their lives and wellbeing matter, and that our society has their backs. It will also tell wildlife trafficking networks that they cannot operate with impunity and that their actions have consequences. As the ranger community we will not be intimidated, and this tragedy will only increase our resolve to stand firm in defence of Africa’s biodiversity.

In 2022, Africa has experienced its worst year on record regarding ranger deaths. The Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) has recorded 100 ranger deaths on the continent since June 2021, of which 95 were in the line of duty. This means that at least 565 African rangers have been killed in action since 2011. 295 of these rangers have been murdered by militia groups, terrorists and bandits in co-ordinated attacks or by poachers whilst protecting our wildlife and wild places. The International Ranger Federation (IRF) reports that at least 150 rangers have died worldwide in the last twelve months in the line of duty.

‘On World Ranger Day we acknowledge our fallen ranger colleagues across the world. We recognise, disturbingly, that many of these deaths have been at the hands of hardened criminals and thugs. We pay tribute to these rangers and their family members who have made tremendous sacrifices. We will remember you. To all our ranger colleagues across the globe, today is your day. You can be proud of the contribution you make to protect our planet. Happy World Ranger Day, we stand behind you today and always.” said Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the GRAA.

Those wanting to contribute to the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa’s efforts to improve ranger safety and wellbeing can do so via the donation tab on our website. Click here.

To all our rangers colleagues across the globe, today is your day.

Happy World Ranger Day.

PROTECTING WILD AFRICA

FOR OVER 50 YEARS

Please donate so we can continue
to support Africa’s rangers

Please donate so we can keep supporting
the guardians of what we all love

 

 

DONATE

DONATE

PROTECTING WILD AFRICA

FOR OVER 50 YEARS

Please donate so we can continue to support Africa’s rangers

 

 

DONATE

DONATE

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