The alarming escalation of poaching in South Africa has resulted in HESC increasingly being requested to provide sanctuary to injured and orphaned elephant and rhino calves. But, providing treatment and rehabilitation is one thing. Ensuring the safety of the often already traumatised animals is something completely different and a factor of which we never lose sight.
At HESC the safety of our animals and their wellbeing is paramount and we have various initiatives in place to strengthen our security.
An important cog in our security system is our partnership with the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit with whom we have collaborated since September 2018. For seven months three members of this all-female anti-poaching unit have worked shifts at HESC each day.
The ladies patrol on foot working hand in hand with our well trained K9 unit and call in backup or trained special forces when needed to seize troublemakers.
Established in 2013 by Transfrontier Africa, the unit was formed to protect the Olifants West region of Balule Nature Reserve, but now protects all boundaries of Balule in the Greater Kruger National Park, as well as other reserves in Limpopo.
For security reasons we won’t divulge too much information about how and where they operate, but we do want to acknowledge their contribution in ensuring the safety of our wildlife at HESC.
Lente Roode, founder and managing director of HESC, says partnering with the Black Mambas not only strengthens the security at HESC, but reinforces our vision to nurture social transformation that enhances ecosystem sustainability.
“Since HESC was established close on 30 years ago, environmental education to create an awareness of conservation has been one of our main objectives and this makes the Black Mambas ideal partners.”
While the aim of the Black Mambas is to combat and eradicate poaching to protect the environment, they are equally committed to educating local communities on conservation and to becoming role models in this regard. Communities must understand that the benefits of rhino conservation are far greater than those of poaching.
We salute these women and look forward to a long relationship with them.
Yours in Conservation
The HESC and WCT Teams