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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Volunteer rangers play key role in conservation efforts

Story by Mhlomuli Ncube

THE Hwange community is spearheading conservation efforts amid revelations that they have become active players in the protection of endangered species such as wild dogs.

It is very rare for wild animals to owe their existence to humans, but that is the case in the Mabale community of Hwange where wild dogs also known as painted dogs owe their existence to determined efforts by the surrounding community.

Volunteer rangers from the Mabale community now pride themselves in being key defenders of the endangered species against poachers.

“I have learnt the benefits of defending wildlife. This is a legacy for future generations and a benefit for current ones,” said one of the volunteers.

Another volunteer added,” This partnership we have has resulted in conservationists appreciating us not only financially but also helping by putting up infrastructure that we need in the form of schools and clinics.”

“I now understand that my country needs its wildlife and preserving it makes me feel like it is my duty every day,” another volunteer reiterated.

With the aid of tools of trade and a reliable source of income, the volunteer rangers go about their daily business with a sense of pride.

Painted Dog Conservancy Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Mr Ronnie Sibanda said, “We have worked well with them. They understand what it means to be involved in conservation. We reward individual volunteers and the community through different incentives to motivate towards achieving our conservation goal.”

From almost being extinct to significant figures of over 6 000 countrywide, Zimbabwe has asserted itself as a global conservation player of the painted dogs.

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