Meet Zazza, one of the anti-poaching tracking and attack dogs that are part of the highly effective conservation ranger teams of Big Game Parks in Swaziland.
She is a Belgian Melanois cross Alsatian and though extremely lovable and friendly to her handlers, she is highly effective at tracking and attacking poacher after having undergone an intense training program. Here she takes a break in the shade and quenches her thirst during a 15km long patrol in the hot Swaziland bushveld. During the patrol, the anti-poaching unit checked on several groups of rhino and in all cases, Zazza immediately listened to her handler, first sitting and then lying down next to him but still intently watching the rhino that were feeding nearby.
This project is carried out in partnership with the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) that provides support, networks and representation for game rangers across Africa. This conservation photography project will use rangers as the “lead characters” to highlight the issues faced by conservationists and showcase opportunities for improved support of rangers in the future. Positive and targeted messages will be communicated that emphasise the critical role that rangers play in African conservation in ensuring that the continent’s natural heritage is preserved for the benefit of future generations. Support Africa’s Rangers by supporting the GRAA.
Peter Chadwick is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through photography. The iLCP’s goal is to use the art of high-quality photography to encourage people to take action in support of tangible and meaningful conservation measures.
Visit African Conservation Photography for a full gallery of Ranger images.