Elephants are being slaughtered for their tusks. Well trained Rangers can stop the killing.
I read something this past year that opened my eyes to a tragedy. It was written by
Rory Young on Quora.com. He wrote,
"Entire species are going extinct right now in an uncontrolled killing frenzy by poachers. A result of the sickening and fast spreading practice of poachers poisoning waterholes. Very, very soon there will only be elephant graveyards to be seen and
no more living elephants."
"The money generated by poaching is used to fund extremist groups and ruthless criminal organizations all over the world. There are direct links between poachers and drug, weapons and other traffickers. This is not just a problem "over there." It affects
Reading that innocent creatures were being slaughtered by criminals brought out the protective mother instinct in me,
I could never stand by and watch bullying of children or helpless animals. This was so much worse than bullying. I saw pictures in the media of the elephant carcasses strewn everywhere, families dead in groups. Tiny calves
laying dead against their mothers.
I'm a married mom of two boys and I live in the Midwestern United States, what could I possibly do to stop elephant poaching in Africa? I introduced myself in a message to Rory Young and asked if I could help.
He said they were badly in need of everything and even a small amount of funding could make a big difference.
I created a nonprofit organization called Chengeta Wildlife and asked friends of Rory Young on Quora.com to join. Our board members are from ten different countries. It is a beautiful thing to be united in a cause with people from around our world. It shows
that it doesn't matter where you live or what your culture, religion, age, sex, or ability is.
Absolutely anyone, anywhere can get involved and make a difference.
Chengeta Wildlife is run entirely by volunteers and so far 100% of our overhead costs such as video production and legal fees to create Chengeta Wildlife have been underwritten by our board members. That means your donations go directly
to where they are desperately needed.
Who is Rory Young and why do we support his work? He is one of the best trackers in the world with incredible knowledge and skills gained over many years in the African bush. He has teamed up with other highly skilled people like Jacob Alekseyev, a retired
Air Force Major who was with the
United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations
and a third man who was in the special forces in the military and has a SWAT background in law enforcement, he has elected to remain anonymous to protect his family.
This line from the movie "Taken" perfectly describes what these men are to poachers. "What I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you."
The three men are writing an investigation, tracking and apprehension guide for wildlife protection teams to use in the bush. Rory said, "The problem is nobody can find the poachers. That's what we focus on - finding them using investigation, surveillance
and tracking. Rapid response apprehension teams require a different set of skills from the investigation and the tracking/surveillance teams. They need more tactical and special weapons skills."
Techniques given in the manual have been successfully tested, Young explains, "There were eight poaching related incidents per week in the Bumi concession area for a period of eight weeks prior to commencing work there. After assessing, building a plan
with the conservation manager and training on patrol with the team, the poaching was reduced to
zero activity per week for a period of twelve weeks."
In January of 2014, Chengeta Wildlife financed our first training session. Rory trained fifteen men and once again, the techniques worked. Many poachers were tracked, found, and arrested during the training session. He spent eighteen hours a day training and
patrolling with the men. The strategy to stop poachers in the area was laid out in detail.
The results have been impressive, especially considering in each case there has been minimal added costs of personnel or equipment to achieve those results. It is a case of teaching already capable people in situ how to stop the poaching. After
Young left the area, the teams continued patrols using the techniques they were taught and continue to be extremely successful.
In the past Rory Young has volunteered one week per month to wildlife protection team training.
Because of the escalation of ivory poaching and because poaching is funding terrorist activity, the need to provide this specialized training/strategizing has become urgent and he would like to do the work full time. Funds raised will support
Rory Young and the ranger training program.
Chengeta Wildlife would like everyone who is protecting African elephants to have a copy of Jacob and Rory's field guide which will be printed in a pocket sized format so they can carry a copy with them in the bush.
We have sent a GoPro camera to Young. He records and uploads footage when he can. We will be sharing selected footage here.
$20,000 will pay for two months of intensive training for scouts and rangers currently employed by other entities to do anti poaching work in parks, safari areas, game management areas, community wildlife areas and conservancies. In other words, instruct
teams that are already working in these hot spots in investigation, surveillance, tracking and apprehension skills. Ideally each two week course would provide training to at least twenty men and two months work would provide training to over 80 men.
Specifically, funds will be used to:
1. Cover the cost and remuneration of two trainers, Rory Young would be one of those. The remuneration is the standard minimum previously advised by TTI and others and less than half of Rory's customary remuneration.
2. Setting up the training camp.
3. Food and water.
4. Rory Young's commercial travel to training site.
5. Vehicle and fuel on site.
7. Communication/data uploading to Chengeta Wildlife.
Any additional funding will go towards securing items such as communication equipment, night vision goggles, weaponry and ammunition for the teams to continue to use after Rory's training.
Chengeta Wildlife is run by volunteers. Funds will not be used to pay our staff.
One of the groups of poachers apprehended during the January 2014 in-patrol training funded by this initiative.