Tribute to a Zambian Conservation Hero

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Senior Wildlife Warden Solomon Chidunuka of Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife.

Solomon Chidunuka

At the time of his death Solomon was the Senior Warden of the Muchinga Province of Zambia, and prior to that had served briefly as the Senior Wildlife Warden for the Mpika region of Zambia.

In 2017, he was presented with the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award by former South African President, FW de Klerk (on behalf of HRH the Duke of Cambridge) for his work in Zambia’s North Luangwa Province.

One of the first Zambian rangers to receive paramilitary training, Solomon believed in leading by example – and not even the amputation of his left leg due to diabetes would stop him. In his 31-year career in wildlife protection he showed dedication to fieldwork before his eventual rise through the ranks of management. He managed to gain and maintain the respect of his colleagues, tourism operators, communities and conservation NGO’s. Many considered him the strongest warden in Zambia. 

In his role as warden and ranger, Solomon displayed exceptional management and leadership. Under his 13-year stint at the Lower Zambezi National Park area saw the lowest poaching levels on record. At the North Luangwa National Park, he managed the only population of black rhinos in the region, losing none to poaching.

Paying tribute on Twitter, Tusk’s partner organisation, Conservation Lower Zambezi, said: “We are deeply saddened today as we say goodbye to a true conservation hero, Solomon Chidunuka who served DNPW in the Lower Zambezi for over 13 years and poured his heart and soul into conservation. He was a great role model and leader. MHSRIP”

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