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Wildlife Warzone

Episode 3: Making a difference

If they are to tackle well-armed poachers, the trainees must learn how to handle a gun and be prepared to use one.

Last Modified: 22 Oct 2013 06:45
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Wildlife poaching is big business and rhino horn worth more than gold. The only thing standing between South Africa's animals and possible extinction is a new breed of anti-poaching rangers. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, but they have one thing in common - they are prepared to lay their lives on the line for Africa's wildlife.

In the third episode, the trainee rangers enter day 27 of their training. Exhausted, but as determined as ever to qualify, they encounter some daunting challenges and secure a significant victory.

The trainees - many of whom have never before handled a gun - begin firearms training. They will be up against poachers with high-powered rifles and semi-automatics so must be prepared to return fire when necessary.

I will never give up. If I give up, I am nothing. It would be like going back to zero again.

Freddie, a trainee ranger

But this is not the only danger they may face. Many South Africans have a justifiable fear of snakes so learning how to remove one from a house is a major hurdle for some of the trainee rangers to navigate.

"It is the stories we have been told, generation after generation," explains Lunga. "What makes us frightened of snakes is the way we have been brought up."

To make matters worse, the trainee rangers learn that more rhinos have been killed. But by finding a bullet in a carcass, they are able to help catch the poachers.

Freddie says: "I will never give up. If I give up, I am nothing. It would be like going back to zero again."

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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