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In Pictures: Wildlife Warzone
A unique look at the business of wildlife poaching through the eyes of trainee rangers.
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2013 11:27
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/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera

With over 500 rhinos killed in South Africa this year, rhino poaching has reached an alarming rate with the demand in Asia for rhino horn threatening to reduce the world's rhino population.



/Protrack / Al Jazeera

South Africa is home to the majority of the world's rhino population. However, over the last five years, the rate of illegal poaching has increased to record levels.



/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera
Every year law enforcement officials in South Africa make dozens of arrests. Convicted poachers can be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.


/Protrack / Al Jazeera
Poachers target the animals by tracking them on GPS and mobile phone, then shoot them with guns or darts, working on foot or in helicopters. Their horns are then hacked off with axes, chainsaws or similar weapons.


/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera
The kind of people involved in poaching has changed over the years to include those formerly involved in wildlife conservation, who have been tempted by the profits. Gangs now use tranquilisers and certain drugs which indicate the involvement of veterinarians.


/Protrack / Al Jazeera
With the horns selling for about $60,000 per kilo, poaching is worth $17bn a year.


/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera
The risky and illegal trade is being fuelled by demand in Asia, where rhino horn in particular is believed to have, unproven, medicinal properties, including the ability to cure cancer.


/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera
Rhino horn is also prized in Vietnam, where it is crushed up as a drink or drug, as it is considered a status symbol of the super-rich. All rhinos in Vietnam are now extinct.


/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera
Rangers working in the bush risk their lives daily to protect wildlife from poachers and traders who are motivated by the lucrative business.


/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera
A new batch of trainee rangers are put through their paces over 38 days, during which they have no access to the outside world. They are pushed to breaking point, both physically and mentally.


/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera

Being a wildlife ranger is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. 'Being shot at is hard to describe. You see the weapon coming up and you hit the deck. And you close your eyes and pray,' says trainee ranger Chrisjan Visser.



/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera

'We cannot have people here that are soft. We cannot have people that will crack under pressure. The reality of this situation is that you are going to be given a semi-automatic weapon when you finish this training. You will have 100th of a second to decide whether you can pull the trigger or not,' Vince Barkas, the head of the training course, explains.



/Protrack / Al Jazeera
The rangers must be as fit as the heavily armed poachers they will up against.


/Protrack / Al Jazeera
For some trainees, the chance to become a ranger is a way out of poverty. Lunga Nyawe says, 'I hope this is going to change my life. I don't want to be stuck here and have no opportunities to go further in life.'


/Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera
'Many of the trainees want to become rangers to protect their habitat. There is no doubt in my mind I will love what I will be doing. It is to protect the rhinos... protecting what I love,' Trainee Nabiel Leon said.


/Protrack / Al Jazeera

'There really is a 'war going on South Africa between rangers and wildlife poachers. Both humans and animals are suffering, with many casualties on either side,' filmmaker Mark Strickson says.




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images:
/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154633927662_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/201310715463452736_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154634192261_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154634349266_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154634474164_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154634630586_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154634786168_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154634927378_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/201310715463583379_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154635239871_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154635380376_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154635536678_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154635692201_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154635864889_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/20131071546365512_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/10/7/2013107154636239693_8.jpg
captions:

With over 500 rhinos killed in South Africa this year, rhino poaching has reached an alarming rate with the demand in Asia for rhino horn threatening to reduce the world(***)s rhino population.

;*;

South Africa is home to the majority of the world(***)s rhino population. However, over the last five years, the rate of illegal poaching has increased to record levels.

;*;Every year law enforcement officials in South Africa make dozens of arrests. Convicted poachers can be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.;*;Poachers target the animals by tracking them on GPS and mobile phone, then shoot them with guns or darts, working on foot or in helicopters. Their horns are then hacked off with axes, chainsaws or similar weapons.;*;The kind of people involved in poaching has changed over the years to include those formerly involved in wildlife conservation, who have been tempted by the profits. Gangs now use tranquilisers and certain drugs which indicate the involvement of veterinarians.;*;With the horns selling for about $60,000 per kilo, poaching is worth $17bn a year. ;*;The risky and illegal trade is being fuelled by demand in Asia, where rhino horn in particular is believed to have, unproven, medicinal properties, including the ability to cure cancer. ;*;Rhino horn is also prized in Vietnam, where it is crushed up as a drink or drug, as it is considered a status symbol of the super-rich. All rhinos in Vietnam are now extinct.;*;Rangers working in the bush risk their lives daily to protect wildlife from poachers and traders who are motivated by the lucrative business. ;*;A new batch of trainee rangers are put through their paces over 38 days, during which they have no access to the outside world. They are pushed to breaking point, both physically and mentally.;*;

Being a wildlife ranger is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. (***)Being shot at is hard to describe. You see the weapon coming up and you hit the deck. And you close your eyes and pray,(***) says trainee ranger Chrisjan Visser.

;*;

(***)We cannot have people here that are soft. We cannot have people that will crack under pressure. The reality of this situation is that you are going to be given a semi-automatic weapon when you finish this training. You will have 100th of a second to decide whether you can pull the trigger or not,(***) Vince Barkas, the head of the training course, explains.

;*;The rangers must be as fit as the heavily armed poachers they will up against.;*;For some trainees, the chance to become a ranger is a way out of poverty. Lunga Nyawe says, \(***)I hope this is going to change my life. I don\(***)t want to be stuck here and have no opportunities to go further in life.\(***);*;\(***)Many of the trainees want to become rangers to protect their habitat. There is no doubt in my mind I will love what I will be doing. It is to protect the rhinos... protecting what I love,\(***) Trainee Nabiel Leon said.;*;

(***)There really is a (***)war going on South Africa between rangers and wildlife poachers. Both humans and animals are suffering, with many casualties on either side,(***) filmmaker Mark Strickson says.

Daylife ID:
314b25e4dee2cfc3e125da8a4ef4f4a5
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera;*;Protrack / Al Jazeera;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera ;*;Protrack / Al Jazeera;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera;*;Protrack / Al Jazeera;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera ;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera ;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera;*;Protrack / Al Jazeera;*;Protrack / Al Jazeera;*;Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera ;*;Protrack / Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Wildlife Warzonehttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzoneen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Mon, 07 Oct 2013 16:12:49 GMTWildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/f31c15da0d3f7d394513d19e13352fbc

With over 500 rhinos killed in South Africa this year, rhino poaching has reached an alarming rate with the demand in Asia for rhino horn threatening to reduce the world's rhino population.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/f31c15da0d3f7d394513d19e13352fbcStephen Downes/ Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

With over 500 rhinos killed in South Africa this year, rhino poaching has reached an alarming rate with the demand in Asia for rhino horn threatening to reduce the world's rhino population.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/2044eb65e19d1a58ce117b684fa40c76

South Africa is home to the majority of the world's rhino population. However, over the last five years, the rate of illegal poaching has increased to record levels.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/2044eb65e19d1a58ce117b684fa40c76Protrack / Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

South Africa is home to the majority of the world's rhino population. However, over the last five years, the rate of illegal poaching has increased to record levels.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/eaad4c2a80d242ea67df6402fdd0c6d3

Every year law enforcement officials in South Africa make dozens of arrests. Convicted poachers can be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/eaad4c2a80d242ea67df6402fdd0c6d3Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera Wildlife Warzone

Every year law enforcement officials in South Africa make dozens of arrests. Convicted poachers can be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/93ff6e1a25d1fafd144923a9ef1af7fb

Poachers target the animals by tracking them on GPS and mobile phone, then shoot them with guns or darts, working on foot or in helicopters. Their horns are then hacked off with axes, chainsaws or similar weapons.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/93ff6e1a25d1fafd144923a9ef1af7fbProtrack / Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

Poachers target the animals by tracking them on GPS and mobile phone, then shoot them with guns or darts, working on foot or in helicopters. Their horns are then hacked off with axes, chainsaws or similar weapons.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/3b1aae3622cdb28fd9fe52eb3777cd08

The kind of people involved in poaching has changed over the years to include those formerly involved in wildlife conservation, who have been tempted by the profits. Gangs now use tranquilisers and certain drugs which indicate the involvement of veterinarians.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/3b1aae3622cdb28fd9fe52eb3777cd08Stephen Downes/ Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

The kind of people involved in poaching has changed over the years to include those formerly involved in wildlife conservation, who have been tempted by the profits. Gangs now use tranquilisers and certain drugs which indicate the involvement of veterinarians.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/535bc885e73589e700febf7b3b756272

With the horns selling for about $60,000 per kilo, poaching is worth $17bn a year.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/535bc885e73589e700febf7b3b756272Protrack / Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

With the horns selling for about $60,000 per kilo, poaching is worth $17bn a year.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/16d844a0de7ee1aee1a111b341ac9a9c

The risky and illegal trade is being fuelled by demand in Asia, where rhino horn in particular is believed to have, unproven, medicinal properties, including the ability to cure cancer.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/16d844a0de7ee1aee1a111b341ac9a9cStephen Downes/ Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

The risky and illegal trade is being fuelled by demand in Asia, where rhino horn in particular is believed to have, unproven, medicinal properties, including the ability to cure cancer.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/a8bf790c6f83bb4970a1c88407fcfc34

Rhino horn is also prized in Vietnam, where it is crushed up as a drink or drug, as it is considered a status symbol of the super-rich. All rhinos in Vietnam are now extinct.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/a8bf790c6f83bb4970a1c88407fcfc34Stephen Downes/ Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

Rhino horn is also prized in Vietnam, where it is crushed up as a drink or drug, as it is considered a status symbol of the super-rich. All rhinos in Vietnam are now extinct.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/84147967c6020fd63bb6915584885487

Rangers working in the bush risk their lives daily to protect wildlife from poachers and traders who are motivated by the lucrative business.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/84147967c6020fd63bb6915584885487Stephen Downes/ Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

Rangers working in the bush risk their lives daily to protect wildlife from poachers and traders who are motivated by the lucrative business.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/5ee44b461b5ccb277ba9d269ba5d9216

A new batch of trainee rangers are put through their paces over 38 days, during which they have no access to the outside world. They are pushed to breaking point, both physically and mentally.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/5ee44b461b5ccb277ba9d269ba5d9216Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera Wildlife Warzone

A new batch of trainee rangers are put through their paces over 38 days, during which they have no access to the outside world. They are pushed to breaking point, both physically and mentally.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/376673a674b7dcedf42e9753ead704d0

Being a wildlife ranger is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. 'Being shot at is hard to describe. You see the weapon coming up and you hit the deck. And you close your eyes and pray', says trainee ranger Chrisjan Visser

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/376673a674b7dcedf42e9753ead704d0Stephen Downes/ Al Jazeera Wildlife Warzone

Being a wildlife ranger is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. 'Being shot at is hard to describe. You see the weapon coming up and you hit the deck. And you close your eyes and pray', says trainee ranger Chrisjan Visser

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/68cbba8384a0db6b05ebccafeb410187

'We cannot have people here that are soft. We cannot have people that will crack under pressure. The reality of this situation is that you are going to be given a semi-automatic weapon when you finish this training. You will have 100th of a second to decide whether you can pull the trigger or not.' Vince Barkas, the head of the training course, explains.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/68cbba8384a0db6b05ebccafeb410187Stephen Downes/ Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

'We cannot have people here that are soft. We cannot have people that will crack under pressure. The reality of this situation is that you are going to be given a semi-automatic weapon when you finish this training. You will have 100th of a second to decide whether you can pull the trigger or not.' Vince Barkas, the head of the training course, explains.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/473d486f125c71ee7ce4d18e13a24149

The rangers must be as fit as the heavily armed poachers they will up against.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/473d486f125c71ee7ce4d18e13a24149Protrack / Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

The rangers must be as fit as the heavily armed poachers they will up against.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/54418b32b050ed40e856ce23e99058bb

For some trainees, the chance to become a ranger is a way out of poverty. Lunga Nyawe says, 'I hope this is going to change my life. I don't want to be stuck here and have no opportunities to go further in life.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/54418b32b050ed40e856ce23e99058bbProtrack / Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

For some trainees, the chance to become a ranger is a way out of poverty. Lunga Nyawe says, 'I hope this is going to change my life. I don't want to be stuck here and have no opportunities to go further in life.'

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/3c6afc217a6f9d07e2e3faac18cdb95b

'Many of the trainees want to become rangers to protect their habitat. There is no doubt in my mind I will love what I will be doing. It is to protect the rhinos... protecting what I love,' Trainee Nabiel Leon said.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/3c6afc217a6f9d07e2e3faac18cdb95bStephen Downes/ Al Jazeera Wildlife Warzone

'Many of the trainees want to become rangers to protect their habitat. There is no doubt in my mind I will love what I will be doing. It is to protect the rhinos... protecting what I love,' Trainee Nabiel Leon said.

Wildlife Warzone http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/4058e4fcac390c7ff942c610a86d9af8

'There really is a 'war' going on South Africa between rangers and wildlife poachers. Both humans and animals are suffering, with many casualties on either side,' filmmaker Mark Strickson wrote.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/South_Africa's_Wildlife_Warzone/slideshow/wildlife-warzone/4058e4fcac390c7ff942c610a86d9af8Protrack / Al JazeeraWildlife Warzone

'There really is a 'war' going on South Africa between rangers and wildlife poachers. Both humans and animals are suffering, with many casualties on either side,' filmmaker Mark Strickson wrote.



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