Fifty-two park rangers around the world lost their lives in the line of duty in the past 12 months. On World Ranger Day, AWF highlights the difficult but necessary job performed by these courageous men and women. Photo credit: Billy Dodson
Rampaging wildlife. Poachers and, sometimes, rebel forces. Harsh climatic conditions. The job of the wildlife ranger may vary by day, but whether conducting ecological monitoring or arresting poachers, one factor remains the same: how difficult the job can be.
On July 31, World Ranger Day, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) honors all the brave men and women who risk their lives every day to protect wildlife and conserve nature across Africa. According to the International Ranger Federation and the Thin Green Line Foundation, 52 park rangers around the world lost their lives in the line of duty in the past 12 months.
“It takes a special person to put on a ranger uniform and go into the bush every day to protect wildlife,” says Dr. Philip Muruthi, vice president for species protection at the African Wildlife Foundation. “Wildlife rangers are literally on the front lines of the poaching and trafficking war—but in addition to those dangers, they may also confront aggressive wildlife, local community members encroaching upon protected areas or some other unexpected occurrence. At any given moment, a ranger must be prepared to act as a soldier, a law enforcement officer, a community liaison, a naturalist or even a medic.”
AWF regularly supports rangers across Africa to ensure they are well-equipped and fully trained to be able to do their jobs. Among the support AWF has provided:
Tel: +1 202 939 3333
1100 New Jersey Ave SE, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20003, USA