BAKKIES and khaki uniforms filled the dusty Mimosa Guest Lodge parking lot outside Addo as about 40 rangers from the Eastern Cape’s four frontier region national parks gathered to celebrate theannual World Ranger Day yesterday.
The day commemorates rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and celebrates rangers and the work they do to protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage.
Rangers from Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo and Mountain Zebra national parks kept guests and colleagues entertained with a breathtaking rhino poaching simulation exercise to kick off proceedings, followed by a short address highlighting the daily dangers rangers face.
“These rangers are out there every day and night protecting the world’s heritage. And the most dangerous species they face are humans. The rangers are the frontline in the war on poaching.
“They selflessly protect the natural treasures for the rest of us to enjoy,” SANParks regional general manager Dries Engelbrecht said.
World Ranger Day is promoted by 54 member associations (parks) of the International Ranger Federation (IRF).
The first Ranger Day was celebrated in 2007 on the 15th anniversary of the IRF. – Tremaine van Aardt