By Michaela Butorova, Save the Rhino International
Like me, I’m sure you love exploring the wild. Discovering a place that you’ve not been to before and taking it all in; fresh smells, new landscapes, nature’s sounds. For many of us, this is a welcome break from our usual lives, time to slowly let our eyes adjust from the squinting that comes with looking at a screen all day. But for some, it’s not simply gazing out into the wilderness, it’s actively scanning the horizon for danger. This is the life of a wildlife ranger.
Celebrating wildlife rangers
Rangers spend their days patrolling vast, rugged wilderness, and while this might sound incredible, it’s certainly not a light-hearted job.
Every day, a ranger walks between 15 and 20 km, often carrying a rucksack containing everything that’s needed for three weeks in a remote field location. This isn’t just a test of endurance. As the people on the ground ready to stop poaching attacks, rangers are coming face to face with dangerous poaching gangs, ready to do whatever it takes to get their hands on a rhino’s horn. The threat of a poaching gang is present every day, so rangers must be well-trained, well-equipped, and constantly on high alert to not only protect the wildlife but themselves and their colleagues.
Next 31 July, is World Ranger Day, a day to celebrate the incredible work of wildlife rangers and remember those that are no longer with us. In the last ten years, more than 1,000 rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty. Despite this shocking statistic, rangers don’t get the recognition they deserve. Many began in the job because of a love for nature and wildlife, but now they are on the frontline, often without all the equipment and training they need.
The brave men and women that protect our wonderful wildlife are true heroes. Without their dedication, the risk to many animals today would be much worse. Rangers put their lives on the line every single day. On World Ranger Day, we’re celebrating them. Wherever you are in the world, take a moment to think about rangers on your next outdoor adventure.
Find out more about World Ranger Day and take part in August #WalkOfTheRanger challenge here to show your support and a chance to win MERRELL shoes and follow our friends at Save The Rhino International for more info about the incredible work that they do to protect the wildlife.