Updated: May 25
A Quick Tale
We’re located in South Africa and are raising funds to train, assist and employ game ranger units along with working side by side with other non-profits and conservation initiatives in the region. We do this by offering our skills and resources to legitimate Anti-poaching units on the ground to ensure they are getting the best training possible and assisting these same units in the area in wildlife conservation matters. Our goal is to use our skills and resources to ensure that the protection of our natural world is taken to the highest level as the protection of our natural world has never been more critical. At Soldiers for Wildlife, we believe that anti-poaching does not only center around a ‘boots on the ground’ approach.
In regions such as ours in third world countries, there are many factors that come into play and are major reasons behind thriving black-market industries. Therefore, in order to have the greatest impact, one must focus on the underlying factors that drives the people on the ground to either continue to encroach on these last wild regions, poach for bush-meat, or feed the illegal wildlife trade. It is imperative that when pushing to make an impact that sees longevity, that one must consider factors such as extreme rates poverty, corruption, poorly led countries and communities and a lack of education. We believe that this is not only important to understand as the individuals running this organization, but this is the education and knowledge we pass onto our employees to understand the depths of our jobs. Our anti-poaching approach centers around constant training, lessons, and a drive to learn and become better at our jobs in all aspects. There is always room to learn more and get better.
Our partnership with Wild Response will help home our team's best practices & daily activities which include tracking practice, understanding the behavior of wild animals, patrols, reciting combatives/ambushing, crime scene investigations and much more. We have seen in many cases throughout Africa that the element of proper leadership amongst these teams is missing. Since day 1 and which will continue forward, those in the most senior positions join those amongst the rookie’s and will never ask them to a job they haven’t done or are doing themselves.
The RAMP Program begins to create the team atmosphere and comradery needed to create the foundation for a successful team. As a result of this, we have seen how much harder our employees work than those with the same jobs working elsewhere. It is also not only on the job. We play active roles in the communities and if one of our employees has a problem at home or his/her child needs help paying for school books or a hospital bill, we do everything we can to help. On a standard day in the life of one of our rangers/scouts in the field depends on the role they are playing and the situation at hand. For instance, if we have no intelligence that there is a current threat, all rangers in one given area will wake up as the sun comes up and join another for a road run in the bush and physical training to keep them at the top of their game. All Of these groups will take turns to ensure their skill sets are always growing and they are in top physical condition. The others in the field will remain in their area and patrol throughout their day covering on average between 7-15 miles per day.
On these patrols they will check on paths (game trails) left by wild animals which are frequently used by poachers due to the likelihood of coming across the animals as they tend to use path already created by them or other game. These men and women will come across wild animals on a regular basis. In the event a fresh human track is discovered that does not match the footwear of one of our workers, it becomes a chase relying solely on tracking. This is where the skills of the individual in bushcraft are tested.
When the sun goes down, our guys will sleep in the bush in the region they are covering in a tent or a ranger camp strategically situated. If gunshots are heard, the team closest to the area of the shot will deploy to investigate. However, the risk of this work at night amplifies for obvious reasons considering both the wildlife and the poaching suspects.
Soon enough, if proper funding is secured, we will begin to invest in technology that will provide us a safer environment operationally in the dead of night. If we have intelligence that an incident is going to occur in a given region and a given time, we adjust accordingly and take the proper measures to successfully capture the suspects.
For those in the field, they work 25 days in a row and depending on holidays each month in which are accumulated in the end determining how long their leave will be. It is up the managers to remain in constant communication with each team in the field. It is mandatory for each team to check in via radio 3 times per day; 0700, 1300, 1900. The managers are also responsible for the everyday well-being of those in the field to make sure that both their equipment and rations are sufficient.
This is a job no one should have to have. Frankly, it is embarrassing the human race is at such a stage where men and women are losing their lives protecting our natural world that gives us everything in our lives. We hope one day through hard work and by creating movements that will put pressure on governments to help us fix these complex issues that we can focus less on having to defend these areas with rifles and instead spend more time on education and only having to management human/wildlife conflict. We will do our best to light more candles create this movement into something so powerful that we see a global shift in the efforts to protect life on earth. Because in the end, without our natural world, there is no human race. It is up to us to do the right thing.
We hope you continue to stand behind us in this journey to grow and in the effort to make this world a better place than we found it. This year, we proudly made some amazing partners. From the local communities we work with a and enable, to the many organizations across the globe also fighting to defend the rights, and safety of animals everywhere.
Cheers to a year of saving lives, and protecting nature, as Soldiers For Wildlife!
Soldiers For Wildlife