Today, we want to say thank you. Thank you to the incredible rangers working on the frontline each and every day. Thank you to you, our supporters, for helping to give rangers what they need to stay safe and keep going, even when the going gets tough.
Now in its 12th year, World Ranger Day is our chance to commemorate those rangers killed in the line of duty and those who continue to risk their lives to protect the wildlife we all cherish.
Since the annual Day was launched, we’ve seen a huge change in the tactics used by poachers, with their modi operandi becoming more and more like a military operation. This means our rangers have to do the same, stepping up and confronting the dangers that lie in looking after rhinos. Their passion for the job is remarkable, especially when we consider their everyday lives.
“It’s dangerous, yes. But I love my work”, says Dean, a Wildlife Police Officer in Zambia. “If you asked me to do any other job I wouldn’t want to because I am protecting wildlife for our future and my children’s future”.
Physical danger is not the only pressure that rangers just like Dean, face. Offers of bribery from poachers looking for an ‘easy-win’ might take place, and working long hours and travelling away from home for weeks at a time can put a strain on their family life. Not only that, but ranger units often tend to be under-resourced and in high demand.
The least we can do is to help make their working lives that little bit more comfortable. That’s why we try to ensure the rangers we fund have the basic necessities covered. New technologies will always help to combat poaching, but without boots, socks, mattresses and hot water, the most crucial people within any anti-poaching strategy would be missing.
Without these rangers, we would lose the world’s rhinos. Your support means that rangers are getting these essentials and continuing to do a job they love.
To all rangers and their families, including those who have lost their lives, a heartfelt thank you.
Tomorrow, in conjunction with For Rangers and Beyond the Ultimate, our first ever ultramarathon in Kenya begins. Our brilliant team, including our very own CEO Cathy Dean, will be wearing one of our iconic rhino costumes for 220 km over the course of 5 days, through the home of long-distance running and the heart of rhino conservation. The costume may even come face-to-face with a real rhino! Cathy and the team are raising funds for rhinos and the rangers who protect them.
To find out how they are getting on and keep up with the latest stories from the run, check in with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Donate and support the rangers who go above and beyond, every day.