Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Women Protect Rhinos from Poaching

The battle against the poaching that kills a rhino every seven hours in South Africa has acquired a new weapon: women.

The Black Mambas are all young women from local communities, and they patrol inside the Greater Kruger national park unarmed. Billed as the first all-female unit of its kind in the world, they are not just challenging poachers, but the status quo.

The Mambas are the brainchild of Craig Spencer, ecologist and head warden of Balule nature reserve, a private reserve within Kruger that borders hundreds of thousands of impoverished people.

The private reserve’s scientists and managers have had to become warriors, employing teams of game guards to protect not only the precious rhinos but lions, giraffes, and many other species targeted by poaching syndicates. The Mambas are their eyes and ears on the ground.

...The numbers suggest the approach works. In the last 10 months the reserve has not lost a rhino, while a neighbouring reserve lost 23. Snare poaching has dropped 90%.

--From The Guardian


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