Once again the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was proud to watch 13 new recruits graduate from the Kenya Wildlife Service’s Manyani Law Enforcement Academy in Tsavo on Thursday 21st April 2016.
Following in the footsteps of over 50 DSWT Manyani graduates before them, these new recruits were enrolled into an intense and highly physical three-month paramilitary course, being coached through a diverse curriculum incorporating Human-Wildlife Conflict and Mitigation Measures, Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Capture, Arrest and Weaponry, amongst a variety of field based skills including Field Survival and GPS Mapping.
DSWT’s Programs Director Robert Carr-Hartley along with field representatives from the DSWT joined these new rangers in Manyani to celebrate their graduation during an impressive Passing Out Parade and ceremony overlooking Tsavo West. The Parade included a special performance by the KWS’s brass band and a faultless drill parade celebrating all 270 of the rangers who graduated, which was then followed by speeches and presentation of awards. Along with top KWS Commanders, Officers and government officials, the audience included a host of guests from other wildlife organisations, parks and reserves, as well as proud family members.
This very successful and hugely valuable program supports and prepares these men for not only protecting and preserving Kenya’s wildlife and the natural environment, but for any conflict faced in the field against the very real threat of armed poachers and developed syndicates.
These 13 new rangers will now be deployed into the field, forming the DSWT’s new Community Wildlife Conflict Resolution Unit as well as establishing two new Mobile Anti-Poaching Units, which will operate in sensitive areas within the Tsavo Conservation Area to further bolster the security presence.