SUPPORT FOCUS: Ranger Empowerment & Rhino Conservation
IAPF received a written request from Xonghile Park on the Kruger border in late 2013 highlighting the critical status of poaching in the area. Positioned in one of the continent’s hottest poaching areas, the Park, located within the Greater Lebombo Conservancy, is used as a transit corridor for criminals entering Kruger in search of rhino horn. Desperate for aid, particularly new and specialist equipment for their rangers, IAPF sent a team to invest US$15,000 worth of resources to the Park and investigate what else was needed.
During the IAPF's time there handing over the equipment, there were three separate incursions by armed poachers. One poacher was arrested with a .458 rifle. This led to 2 more arrests, the seizure of a vehicle and US$10,000 in cash.
After meetings with SANPark's Ken Maggs in Kruger National Park, the IAPF drafted a long-term security plan for Xonghile to implement alongside community develpment programs.
IAPF additionally provided Xonghile with a fully sponsored satellite phone enabling them to make direct contact with Kruger Park operations, as poachers come and go from Mozambique. The phone was directly attributed with the capture of 4 more armed poachers, early in 2014.
For more information, please watch this short documentary on the efforts: