Poachers Knife

Poachers_Knife_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

Field Rangers need to be extremely aware and vigilant of their surroundings at all times while out on patrol. The slightest sign of any abnormality in the bush could give the indication of a poaching gang having infiltrated the protected area.

In this case, during an anti-poaching patrol, a knife was found half-buried amongst leaf litter. The field rangers only saw a knife dropped by a poacher, but closer inspection revealed that the knife had faded camouflaged patterns on it and had a para-cord lanyard. This para-cord is not usually found outside of military circles and this perhaps points to the owner having had military training and background. Immediately, there is a higher risk and threat level facing any rhino found on the reserve.

This conservation photography 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.