The battle to keep wildlife safe from poachers is a constant challenge in all private game reserves and national parks across Africa. Poaching [poh-ching] is defined in the dictionary as "the illegal practice of trespassing on another's property to hunt or steal animals" and anti-poaching is "opposing, prohibiting, or acting to prevent poaching."
We recently hosted an anti-poaching course sponsored by the Global Conservation Force (GCF). We are incredibly grateful to this non-profit organisation for their ongoing support in the quest against poaching and protecting wildlife. We are also thankful to our brave and committed Kariega anti-poaching team, guides and all those working to conserve wildlife in the world's beautiful reserves and parks.
The inspiring short film about the anti-poaching course was created by Marlina Moreno of Project Conservation. Marlina joined the course for a few days to document the recruits during some of their most testing times.
Grueling Rhino Conservation Anti-Poaching Course
The 10 participants who completed the Global Conservation Force sponsored anti-poaching course did not have any idea what they are getting themselves in for when they signed up for the intense four week programme! With Mike Veale and Calvin Kipling as the head trainers of this grueling course, the guys were in for an experience they will never forget. Guest trainers included US Marine Corps veteran Marcus Chischilly and Chrisjan Visser from Kilo9 Kennels. These experienced gentlemen added diverse aspects to the course including anti-poaching unit (APU) dog handling and shooting range practice.
The course modules included:
- Snares and poaching methods
- Tracking and detection
- Weapon safety, including firearm parts, weapon strip, assemble and maintenance
- Rhino poaching facts
- Patrol types and techniques including hand signals, ambush and concealment
- Arrest procedures
- Observation posts
- Map reading
- First aid
- Survival basics
- K9 handling.
Other activities were daily personal training (PT), drills, sleep outs on the reserve, on foot night patrols, night shooting practice and wildlife approaches on foot.
All Recruits Pass Anti-Poaching Course
The last day of the four week anti-poaching course included a challenging test of the recruits' physical and mental strength as they trekked over 30 km of soft sand dunes from Alexandria to the Bushmans River mouth. This was the gigantic final hurdle of the course. After 27 days of hard physical and mental training, lectures, long days and even longer nights, the 10 recruits all passed the course with flying colours.
Who is Global Conservation Force?
Global Conservation Force (GCF) is a non-profit organization based in California that is dedicated to saving wildlife from extinction through education, anti-poaching and conservation efforts. GCF assists teams on the ground with training, equipment and other required support. Every cent of funding is spent on things that really matter on the ground to help save wildlife.
The GCF raises awareness and funds through many creative events and galas across the world. The organization doesn't only focus on rhino conservation but also on other endangered species including pangolin, vultures, elephants, giraffes, saiga antelope, wild dog and snow leopard.
If you would like to find out about the Save the Rhino project managed by the Kariega Foundation please visit our website and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to find out how you can help or get involved.
You can also follow Kariega Game Reserve on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for updates on our anti-poaching efforts, the Kariega Foundation projects and other wildlife news. Subscribe to our blogs to make sure you never miss our articles and stay up to date with what is happening at Kariega Game Reserve.
“Earth provides enough for every man's needs, but not every man's greed” ~ Mahatma Gandhi