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What rangers and activists risk for nature and the environment


Last year at least 227 people were murdered because they campaigned for nature and climate protection. A women's group from South Africa, for example, risks their lives for rhinos and lions every day.

The 35-strong force guards the Balule Nature Reserve in South Africa, a 62,000 hectare private reserve that is connected to the famous Kruger National Park.

The reserve offers pure African idyll: chic lodges lure tourists into the savannah landscape, through which lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, wild dogs, antelopes and rhinos roam.

The problem: Poachers also target the animals, especially the rhinos.

The Black Mambas are out on foot and in off-road vehicles day and night to protect the animals.

They do not carry rifles, even though the poachers are heavily armed.

Is that why they are successful?

In the first year of their use, game meat hunting fell by 90 percent;

many poachers were arrested and dozen of poaching camps destroyed.

Heroines of Species Protection

For me, the "Black Mambas" are heroines.

With death in the neck they stand up for the preservation of nature.

The risk seems enormous.

It was not until March 2020 that South African detective Leroy Bruwer, one of the country's most famous investigators against rhino poaching, was shot on the way to work.

A total of at least 227 people were murdered worldwide last year because they were committed to preserving nature and protecting the climate, according to a report by the Global Witness organization.

However, the number is certainly set too low.

Increasing restrictions on journalism and other civil liberties mean that many cases are unlikely to become known at all, reports Global Witness.

I admire the courage of the gamekeepers in the Balule Nature Reserve all the more.

The idea of ​​purely female wildlife protection troops caught on by the way: Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kenya have now set up their own ranger units.

Why are the troops only made up of women?

Men are more corruptible and spend their money on alcohol and fancy cars, says Craig Spencer, who started the troupe in 2013.

Women, on the other hand, »invest in securing the family«.


Yours Philip Bethge

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  • According to estimates by the World Wide Fund for Nature, there were still 500,000 rhinos on earth at the beginning of the 20th century.

    How many are there today?

  • What can a kilogram of rhinoceros cost on the black market?

  • What is rhinoceros made of?

  • * You can find the answers at the bottom of the newsletter.

    Picture of the week

    With a daring flight maneuver

    , this hoopoe steers its young in a tree hollow.

    The distinctive feather hood makes the migratory bird unmistakable.

    It has just been declared Bird of the Year by the German Nature Conservation Union.

    In the nursery rhyme of the "Bird Wedding" the hoopoe brings "the bride the flowerpot".

    She may not have been happy: female and young hoopoes can secrete a strong smelling secretion - hence the phrase »stink like a hoopoe«.

    (Feedback & suggestions?)

    * Quiz Answers: In Asia and Africa, of the original 500,000 rhinos, 27,000 are left.

    / A kilogram of rhinoceros costs up to $ 60,000 on the black market, which is more than gold.

    / Just like human fingernails, rhinoceros are made of keratin.

    Source: spiegel

    All tech articles on 2021-11-27

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