Poached African Rock Python

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The reality of poaching on the ground goes way beyond rhino and elephant and it in fact impacts on a huge diversity of species. Here, a four meter python was fortunately recovered still alive, during a night time anti-poaching operation in the Hlane National Park that is managed by Big Game Parks in Swaziland.

The highly effective conservation ranger team arrested four poachers that had clubbed the python and shoved it into a large maize-meal sack. After the wounds were cleaned and medicated by the rangers, the massive snake was released down an old aardvark burrow where it could recover in safety. The poachers were sentenced in court early the following morning and all received jail time.

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.