Celebrate World Ranger Day

Each year on 31 July the world honours and celebrates the vital work rangers do as Earth’s guardians, risking their lives to defend wildlife and wild places. Tusk pays tribute to these incredible conservationists with its annual Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, and for World Ranger Day, we caught up with last year's winners - Solomon Chidunuka and Lucky Ndlovu - to find out what impact winning the award has had on their work.

Solomon Chidunuka

Solomon is based in the Northern Province of Zambia as Senior Wildlife Warden for Mpika District. “The money I was given from the award was used for my work in North Luangwa National Park as well as for my personal achievement”, says Solomon.“We managed to construct some culverts on deployment routes of our anti poaching operations, these roads were difficult to pass through during rain season but now our vehicles are able to cross these streams easily and this means we have increased the safety of our rhinos, elephants and other wildlife species as passage is now throughout the dry and rainy seasons.

“Winning the award also had a personal impact on my life, it helped me start the building of my house, which is almost complete – only few fittings are remaining and I have already shifted to the house with my family. The other impact was that I got connected to schoolmates that I parted with in 1988 when I completed my grade twelve education; this was thanks to publicity on social media.

“Our next step is to continue working hard to protect our wildlife In the North Luangwa National Park, especially the rhinos and elephants that are highly targeted by criminals due to their precious horns, which fetch a lot of money on the black market.”

Click here to watch a 4-minute film about Solomon and his work.

Lucky Ndlovu

Sergeant Lucky Ndlovu has worked as a field ranger in the Kruger National Park since 1992. The Field Ranger K9 (tracking dog) team, led by Lucky is involved actively in field ranger duties including rhino anti-poaching activities. His team updated us on the impact winning the award has had on their work. 

“Lucky was overjoyed and very honoured to have received this award. It has given a lot of meaning to his work and his family were also very proud of the achievement. It is good to know that the world acknowledges the work of Field Ranger. 

“With funds from the award we bought two new tracking dogs for the project and they are already resulting in an increase in the arrest of rhino poachers. We have now decided on some equipment such as better and lighter backpacks and other gear that will make the rangers more effective. We are busy ordering that now.

“The past few months has seen the exciting role out of more K9 rangers. Our partner Southern African Wildlife College has received free-tracking hounds, which are also making a difference. Together with the Tusk funded K9s we are definitely apprehending more rhino poachers.

“Our focus continues to be the fight against rhino poaching and addressing areas of weakness so that we continually improve.”

Click here to view a 3-minute film about Lucky and his work.

Discover more about the Tusk Conservation Awards 

Tusk Conservation Awards 2017 Winners

Tusk Conservation Awards Presented in Africa

In October 2017, the fifth annual Tusk Conservation Awards were presented for the first time in Africa at a gala ceremony in Cape Town, and Tusk was extremely honoured that three of the country’s most eminent public figures – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former First Lady, Mrs Graça Machel, and former President F W de Klerk – presented the awards on behalf of Tusk’s Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Remains of an elephant killed by poachers, close to Serolipi River, Sera.

Poaching & Illegal Wildlife Trade

The illegal wildlife trade is one of the principle immediate threats to wildlife, particularly iconic African species such as rhino and elephant, which are poached for their horns and tusks.

BATUK Training

British Army Helps Reduce Poaching In Malawi

As part of the UK Government’s wider commitment to tackling the effects of the illegal trade in wildlife, the British Army is supporting anti-poaching efforts in Africa, in partnership with Tusk and African Parks.

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