A wildlife park ranger comforting rhinos in Kenya. Image courtesy of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Our premise to be involved in this fight is simple. If we can’t save our clients, we won’t be able to save the places where they live. It’s more than just wildlife actually. It’s life, period.
Wildlife is the only sustainable treasure that Nature gave the people of Africa and Asia. This treasure is not extracted from the ground but must be left free. It is just there to be enjoyed but it must be protected from greed that wants to harvest it. This is their natural asset but we are all responsible for it because it is also their gift to the world.
If we fail them all, the rest of the world’s species will also fail.
Oh, our clients do not need to pay us back and they require no retainers.
“The illegal trade in natural resources is depriving developing economies of billions of dollars.”
—Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP)
While we were originally founded to protect the elephant, we realized that their preservation also depends on the survival of the other two iconic species that shares their land— the giraffes, okapis, and the rhinos. Hence, our vision of mitigating the threat of violence and terrorism on the iconic African Trifecta of the world’s wildlife. Consider the grim statistics that we are up against: Elephants are killed every 15 minutes for their ivory. Rhinos succumb to poaching every 2 hours for their horns. And here’s a tragic irony: Giraffe population has plummeted by 80% during the past 10 years and they are killed by poachers for food and black market while poaching for elephants and rhinos. Meanwhile, their Okapi cousins has also plummeted from 40,000 in 2003 to just 10,000 in 2013. Our mission seems impossible but we must stop this travesty, now.
The park rangers deployed worldwide are the defenders of wildlife. They are dedicated and motivated only by their love for the world’s iconic species. However, they are far underpaid, overworked, and are out-resourced by well-funded professional and militarized poachers whose profits go to terrorists organizations, especially in Africa. On average, a park ranger only gets paid an average of USD $125 a month while risking their lives—covering an average of 53 square miles per each and responsible for more than 10 species of wildlife at any given time. During the past decade alone, more than 1,000 rangers have been killed in the line of duty, at the rate of 1 ranger killed in action (KIA) every 4 days. We call them The Heroes That Care Forgot™ because they risk their lives to defend the iconic wildlife on the world’s behalf without much recognition and support. We aim to change that since they deserve better.
Whether you are on the ground as our partner or a donor at home simply concerned about the plight of wildlife and park rangers, we are steadfast in our commitment to serving you by delivering the results of your investment to do our work effectively. Your continued concern and support of our mission inspire us to keep working and we are grateful for your help.
“Illicit trade in wildlife threatens rule of law and border security in fragile regions. Criminal elements, often in collusion with corrupt government officials or security forces, are involved in poaching and movement of ivory and rhino horn across Africa. Poaching presents significant security challenges for militaries and police forces in African nations, which often are outgunned by poachers and their allies.”
—LTG James R. Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) through the 2015 World Threat Assessment annual report sent to the United States Congress