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Mission: Lion Conservation Intensive Ranger Training


Intensive Ranger Training

SAVE has recruited six Lion Rangers for its project SAVE Lions – Living with Lions. The three men and three women are between 19 and 36 years old and come from the surrounding villages. Their mission is that no more lion should die in the project area. For this mission they work hard, day after day.

They monitor the area, collect data, report incidents, drive patrols and cooperate with local farmers to promote coexistence between wildlife and people.

In February, SAVE again organized a three-day ranger training course on how to behave in the bush, especially in confrontations with wildlife.

This training was led, as last time, by one of the most experienced and renowned wildlife conservationists. Mpho Lebelo, nicknamed “Poster”, is a passionate fighter for rhino conservation and has been recognized for his tireless efforts in monitoring wild rhinos in northern Botswana over the past 15 years.

“Poster” taught the six rangers how to be confident on their missions, what chains of command to follow during missions, and the role of discipline. After all, “Poster” stressed, the job is demanding and not without danger.

Discipline, he said, helps rangers stay focused on the task at hand and alert to potential threats and hazards. It is also important to remain calm and collected in the face of danger, which is essential when dealing with wildlife. Finally, the experienced wildlife conservationist said, discipline helps develop a professional attitude and respect for the animals that need to be protected.

On another day of training, they learned the phonetic alphabet, which is critical to getting information that communicates clearly over the radio. Clear communication is especially important in a remote terrain where radio communication can quickly break down.

All of these building blocks help to continually perfect the challenging job of the six rangers to ensure the survival of the lions.