Today marks World Ranger Day, an occasion to celebrate and remember those who are defending endangered species not only in South Africa but across the globe. Rangers have an essential role to play in keeping our planet’s creatures safe from poaching, working with neighbouring communities, and educating people on the wonders of the natural world.

  • World Ranger Day should be important to you because:
    Without rangers, many of the species that we know and love would have far less protection and chances of survival than they do today. Rangers put everything on the line to prevent poaching and educate communities on why these endangered animals matter, and they do this because of their passion for wildlife and the desire to push conservation efforts forward. At the Zululand Conservation Trust (ZCT), we have several conservation projects running with the help of our rangers. Most importantly, the protection of our black and white rhinoceros populations, safeguarding our rhino orphanage, and our pangolin rehabilitation project.
  • The commemoration of today represents not only the celebration of rangers and successes, but it is also an opportunity to remember the rangers and successes of yesterday. Being a ranger is a unique and sometimes dangerous responsibility. Today is the day to think of those who have lost their lives in the fight to protect endangered animals. The International Ranger Federation found that 65 rangers died in Africa between June 2022 and May 2023.

Anti-Poaching Operations at the Zululand Conservation Trust

At ZCT, conservation is at the heart of all that we do, and the great work we have achieved to date wouldn’t have been possible without our rangers.

To honour World Ranger Day, let us open a window into the crucial work they’re involved with by sharing an exciting development taking place within our Anti-Poaching and K9 units below.

Having recently completed the revamp of the rhino orphanage dog kennels, we are excited to announce the arrival of a new addition to the K9 unit: Zigge. Zigge is a Dutch Shepherd X from the Kilo 9 Academy and Wildhood Foundation offered to us with full sponsorship. Our new team member is trained in apprehension, protection, and firearm and ammunition detection, and the next steps are for her to also be imprinted on pangolin and rhino horn detection to further aid with our anti-poaching efforts.

Zigge’s arrival, as well as having dogs present at the reserve in general, is incredibly valuable for the anti-poaching unit and the rangers working alongside them. Their strong sense of smell and obedience make it possible to catch and prevent poaching operations that may otherwise go unnoticed by humans. We know that Zigge will be happy in her new home, and we can’t wait to see the positive impact she has here.

How You can Help

It’s not just Zigge who can help our rangers, you can show your support today by donating via our website, contributing to the supply of crucial equipment for our rangers.

Through our custodianship over the Manyoni Private Game Reserve, we provide security to critical wildlife populations in South Africa. This includes the endangered black rhino, white rhino, pangolin, lion, cheetah, elephant, and leopard. Almost all of these species mentioned have a globally declining population trend, and the work that our rangers do to keep these populations safe is critical to their survival.

Our wildlife guardians work to protect these species from the constant threat of poaching, and for them to do this to the best of their ability, additional support and supplies are needed. Specifically, our goal is to raise R15 000 for new sleeping bags and torches for our rangers. Please consider supporting our cause and making a donation via the link below.

Click here to donate and show your support this World Ranger Day.

We appreciate any support you are able to give!

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