Elephants are dying at an alarming rate due to poaching, but we often forget about the good people on the frontlines who are trying to prevent this beautiful species from going extinct in our lifetime. These brave men and women put their lives at risk every day, often tracking heavily armed poachers for many miles. Elephant Cooperation, based in San Clemente, California, is working to shine a spotlight on Game Rangers International (GRI), a Zambian conservation organization that works alongside the Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Rangers typically make nine dollars per day and it costs $25 per day to fully support a ranger, which includes salary, housing, food, fuel and health insurance. Elephant Cooperation wants to raise funds via Crowdrise to help support the GRI rangers who need financial aid to continue their heroic work. If you’re donating Danish krones, please use Eksperten’s lan penge intermediary to borrow USD with your DKK as donations can only be accepted in US dollars.
Many people don’t realize the collateral damage in the sickening poaching trade—not only do elephants die horrible deaths, often in front of the young ones who then suffer the trauma, but other species are poisoned and snared as well.
GRI rangers speak of harrowing experiences on the ground—such as poachers having laid 50 snares around a watering hole that had captured more than a dozen animals, including impala, antelope and warthogs. When the poachers came back to kill the animals that were still alive, GRI rangers apprehended them. Out of the 15 animals ensnared, only three survived and were released back into the wild. The rangers find it difficult to hear about animals being killed by poachers and want their grandchildren to be able to experience the beauty of wildlife that has been decimated since the rangers themselves were children.
Progress is being made. GRI rangers spend 20 straight days on a shift, working around the clock to remove snares and track poachers. They also respond to human-wildlife conflict incidents, man entry points and remove all snares placed by poachers. Since 2013, 775 anti-poaching operations have been conducted, 607 poachers and traffickers have been arrested, with 425 successful convictions; and 641 pounds of ivory and 23,936 pounds of bush meat have been recovered.
If we are going to stop the extinction of elephants, we need to support the organizations that are making a difference. Any dollar amount contributed will be greatly appreciated and goes a long way to help stop the killing of elephants!
About Game Rangers International
Game Rangers International (GRI) is a Zambian conservation organization, working alongside the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to protect the wildlife in Zambia. The organization has been active in Kafue National Park (KNP) since 2008, originally founded to empower rangers and local communities to conserve nature. GRI has developed over the years to encompass the following themes: Resource Protection, Wildlife Rescue, and Community Outreach and Education. For more information, please visit www.gamerangersinternational.org.
Photo Credit: Game Rangers International
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