|White Rhinos in Pilanesburg Game Reserve|
South Africa has seen a dramatic drop in its rhinoceros population in recent months, due to a great deal of illegal poaching. The poaching activities have been affecting the nation's rhino population so much, that some security firms have taken drastic action and decided to use military tactics to combat the perpetrators. One of the key figures of this operation is Rusty Hustler, head of security for South Africa's North West Parks and Tourism Board. He has around thirty trackers to patrol almost 150,000 acres of wildlife habitat on the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, which had lost seven rhinos this year. According to Hustler, the process is not going to be easy as some poachers have military background. He even stated that gangs consist of not only South Africans, but also illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Another key figure is Simon Rood of Nkwe Wildlife Security Services. His firm has been known to train recruits for a year before they receive the job full-time. Those who are taken full-time face the ultimate test of living out in the African bush for fifteen days at a time. The men work in pairs and spend most of the time patrolling the bush, and tracking the poachers. Rood, who happens to be an ex-military man, has a strong belief that this commando-style security is an effective way to fight illegal poaching.
I'm impressed to see that South Africa has put its foot down, and decided to take some drastic action against rhino poachers. In this case, it is through military tactics. In my opinion, this goes to show that in some nations that are prone to poaching, officials take a step further and decide to combat the illegal activities through serious measures. This can be seen when one visits a certain African national park and sees forest guards dressed in military-style uniforms and armed with M-16 rifles. I sure hope that this effective form of security will help slow down poaching in South Africa's wild lands where rhinos live.
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