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Wildlife Warzone

Episode 2: Only the best

As the training gets tougher some fall out, but those that remain form valuable bonds.

Last Modified: 15 Oct 2013 05:58
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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 second episode, some of the trainees fall out of the course and things get tougher for those who remain. Lunga needs to lose weight and is having trouble on the obstacle course. If he can not complete it, he too will fail.

Fortunately, friendships are forming. Chrisjan, as tall as Lunga is wide, will do anything to help Lunga succeed.

When I saw it lying there, it made my heart sore. It was the first time I had seen a dead rhino with my own eyes.

Lunga, trainee ranger

"If Chrisjan was not there, who would have helped me? I was struggling. My body was giving up," Lunga explains. 

Most poor people in South Africa never see wild animals because they cannot afford admission fees to enter a reserve. There are no free-roaming animals in the country so it is a touching moment when the trainees walk on foot to see rhinos, giraffe, hippos and lions for the first time.

"It was nice to observe a fresh kill with lions so close to us. No fence. It was exciting. Quite a rush," Chrisjan says.

Then the moment comes that they have all been dreading: their first call out to a rhino that has been killed for its horn. They know they must learn how to search a crime scene for clues, but seeing their first dead rhino shocks them all.

 Lunga says: "When I saw it lying there, it made my heart sore. It was the first time I had seen a dead rhino with my own eyes."

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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