Cape Town, July 31, 2023
Today, on World Ranger Day, we come together to honour the bravery, dedication, and commitment of our rangers in protecting Africa’s wildlife heritage. We salute their excellent work safeguarding our reserves, and commemorate the legacy of those killed or injured in the line of duty.
On July 31st each year, the world unites to observe World Ranger Day, a significant day of appreciation that pays tribute to the brave men and women who risk their lives daily to protect our natural wildlife and eco heritage. Rangers play a vital role in preserving our nation’s game reserves and nature reserves, and we thank them for their incredible work.
However, the life of a Ranger is far from easy. Every day, they face danger head-on, bravely combating poachers, handling wild animals, and safeguarding our reserves against wildfires. Africa, in particular, faces significant challenges, with 65 out of 148 ranger deaths occurring within the last year (June 2022 – May 2023).
On World Ranger Day, it is important to pause and reflect on the courage and sacrifices made by Rangers around the world. The 31st of July is a day to remember and honour the fallen Rangers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our reserves amidst the ongoing battle against poachers.
A Ranger is an individual who works in the field of conservation and wildlife management. Rangers are responsible for protecting and preserving natural areas, wildlife, and cultural heritage zones. While rangers and private reserve staff are at the forefront of the workforce, government employed personnel, local communities, and volunteers are similarly dedicated to the conservation and preservation of our reserves.
Aquila Private Game Reserve is home to some of South Africa’s leading conservation initiatives and wildlife educational programmes. Created to inspire and educate young conservation enthusiasts, the “Junior Ranger Programme” incorporates fun and interactive activities for children to appreciate wildlife and learn about the importance of reserves.
Rangers play a vital role in protecting South Africa’s wildlife and maintaining the delicate balance of our natural ecosystems. These conservation heroes deserve our recognition for their outstanding efforts throughout Africa — and around the world! Despite the ongoing risk of poaching, the loss of natural habitats, and a lack of funding, it is the tireless efforts of our rangers that ensures endangered species — like the iconic rhino — have a fighting chance at survival.
If you want to show your support for our rangers, please visit www.savingprivaterhino.org. Together, we can make a difference and protect our wildlife for generations to come!