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Fighting Wildlife Crime: Rangers Face Serious Dangers (Video)

There are many challenges rangers face, says Fyson Suwedi, in this video. A Senior Assistant Parks and Wildlife Officer in Malawi’s Lengwe National Park, he should know. “Poachers look at rangers as obstacles. They can do anything to make sure they get what they want. They can kill the rangers,” he says.

Suwedi points to a scar on his arm as proof of what can happen. “That’s where one poacher thew an axe and it hurt me,” he explains.

Poachers also kill the animals the rangers are trying to protect. “This happens especially when the poacher injures the animal,” he says. Animals do not differentiate between the ranger and the poacher, [and for the rangers, that is] another source of danger. “I lost a very good friend of mine,” Suwedi tells. “He was killed by a buffalo that was injured. The love for the work..it’s like a gift. You cannot work without any challenges. We still work, even when we lose our friends,” Suwedi says.

Fighting Wildlife Crime on the Front Lines

This video interview with Fyson Suwedi is part of a series of interviews with the unsung heroes fighting wildlife crime on the front lines. Journalist and National Geographic Fellow Bryan Christy uses investigative journalism to expose illegal wildlife trafficking around the globe. He introduces the interview series in the video below:

Watch more videos in this series>>

Law enforcement officials from Africa recently participated in a global seminar and training summit in Washington, D.C., focusing on sharing intelligence, ideas and other collaboration. Read more about this below. Follow the link for a more comprehensive briefing.

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Photograph by David Claypool

Uniting Against Organized Wildlife Crime

Law enforcement agencies, NGOs, and business leaders gathered from across the world in Washington recently to share information and expertise and organize a concerted strategy to combat the global scourge of wildlife trafficking.

The unprecedented collaboration was heralded at the National Geographic Society’s headquarters on Tuesday, at an event held against the backdrop of recent news of a catastrophic plunge in the last wild populations of African elephants and other species. The meeting also set the stage for CITES CoP17, a conference in Johannesburg at the end of this month that will bring more than a hundred governments together to review the planet’s biggest wildlife challenges and opportunities.

More About National Geographic’s Contributions to Fighting Wildlife Crime

National Geographic Society

  • Saving Big Cats: Around the world, trophy hunting, habitat loss, and conflict with humans are putting big cats at great risk. See what we’re doing to help.
  • A Voice for Elephants: Elephants may be large, heavy and thick-skinned, but they are being threatened with extinction in the wild by poaching for their ivory, and by human impact on their habitats. “A Voice for Elephants” is a resource for information about this critical species, a forum for discussion, and a rally point for those who want to stand with them.
National Geographic Media
The National Geographic Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is dedicated to shining light on commercial-scale exploitation of wildlife and other valued resources, identifying weaknesses in national and international efforts to protect wildlife, and empowering institutions and individuals working for a better world. Stories cover a range of human activity, from crime to heroism. You can find all of the SIU’s stories at Wildlife Watch.