Jun 13, 2014

This Is How You Fight Poachers (16 pics)

By on Friday, June 13, 2014

When you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Damian is saving Rhinos from poachers in Zimbabwe.

Baby Rhino in Zimbabwe - IAPF
Damien Mander - Anti-poaching crusader

Met Damien in Colombia while backpacking South America. Shortly after we met he went to Africa and was saddened by the poaching situation. He then returned to Australia sold his house and used his life savings to use his special ops and military experience to train an army to fight poachers in Zimbabwe.

Fighting poaching with military tactics
Mander advocates for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also called drones, to protect endangered wildlife. Their drones feature thermal and night-vision technology for use in military-style anti-poaching operations to prevent poachers from killing animals.

Saving what few rhinos are left in Africa.

Across much of Africa anti-poaching tactics have remained largely unchanged for decades. Small groups of undertrained and poorly equipped rangers are sent out for days on end to conduct patrols in remote and dangerous locations. Modern-day poachers have evolved and routinely utilise military tactics and equipment to kill high-target species, such as elephants, rhinos and gorillas. In the cross-fire, rangers are also killed. Seeing this shortfall, the IAPF set out in 2009 to fill the gap.

At one of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation’s operations in Zimbabwe, not one rhino has been poached since we started managing security operations here in 2010. The nearest rhino population, 100kms to the east, has been decimated, from 76 black rhino down to only a remaining few in recent years. Our rangers track the critically endangered black rhino for up to 20kms a day. Substitute feeding is put into some locations in order to attract and account for those that have not been followed the entire time.


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