South Africa: Tribute to the unsung heroes of wildlife conservation dedicated to safeguarding our natural heritage

Today, July 31, marks the date that countries around the world observe World Ranger Day to recognize the work done by rangers in saving the planet’s natural heritage and to commemorate those killed or injured in the line of duty.

Rangers face life-threatening situations on a daily basis in their work. There are recorded deaths due to conflicts with poachers. Or working alongside dangerous animals and in hazardous conditions, which contributes to fatalities. Rangers are also under psychological pressure which can have mental health implications.

As part of World Ranger Day celebrations, Kruger National Park (KNP) management and staff held a ceremony to honor the Ranger Corps on Friday 29th July. The ceremony took place outside the Skukuza Paul Kruger Gate and activities included a ranger drill, honor guard, wreath laying ceremony and plaque unveiling for the ranger and master- dog Shando Mathebula, who was killed earlier this year.

Shando Mathebula

Mathebula was based in the Shangoni section on the Limpopo province side of the park and was tragically killed in a confrontation with a buffalo while patrolling with a colleague on May 4, 2022. The 36-year-old worked in the park for the. ..

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