Protecting Rangers, Protecting Rhinoceroses

DuPont News, November 20, 2012
World Rhino Day is celebrated annually on Sept. 22.
World Rhino Day is celebrated annually on Sept. 22.

 

In partnership with Global Armour SA, one of South Africa’s leading manufacturers of extreme ballistic protection, DuPont is equipping rangers who risk their lives to protect rhinoceroses from poachers with protective apparel reinforced with DuPont™ Kevlar®.

To safeguard its armed rangers and anti-poaching patrols, the Holden-Smith Conservation and Tracking Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) recently equipped its workers with protective apparel kits that are fully compliant with military specifications, and are currently used by armed forces around the world.

According to Peter Joseph of DuPont Protection Technologies, “It is absolutely critical that the rangers are fully protected from the heavily-armed criminal gangs who run the illegal poaching trade.”

The kit includes tactical vests and ballistic helmets. The vests can stop high-velocity, armor-piercing and ball rounds; the helmets are capable of protecting rangers against hand guns, ricochets, stone splinters and more.

“We are doing everything we can to prevent wildlife atrocities, but we cannot work alone,” said Charlie Warren of APU. “The new anti-poaching kit will save lives, and allow trained men and women to go to the defense of our vulnerable rhinos.”

Despite intensified anti-poaching efforts, the number of rhinos poached continues to rise. Since the beginning of this year, South Africa has lost a total of 381 rhinos to illegal poaching – approximately three rhinos every two days.

“Until we provide the resources to safeguard our great natural treasures, populations of rhinos will slowly wink out across Africa, and our natural heritage will continue its slide into oblivion,” said Peter.