Marakele National Parks commemorates World Rangers’ Day

THABAZIMBI – Rangers from Marakele National Park left their posts for a while, gathered at the park’s sports grounds on Thursday 31st July 2014 to commemorate international rangers day. This is a yearly event which aims to honour those rangers who lost their lives in the line of duty and acknowledge the brave, tireless and critical role of the park rangers around the world in protecting the world’s natural systems and endangered species.
The first World Ranger Day was celebrated in 2007 and is promoted by the 54 member associations of the International Ranger Federation (IRF). Rangers put their lives in danger to take care of and protect the environment. It is estimated that over 1000 rangers’ lives have been lost around the world in the last 10 years. Of those 1000, 103 were recorded as losing their lives in the line of duty in 2013, and a further 56 for 2014.
Mr Johan Taljaard, Park Manager, addressed the audience. “Today we celebrate your truly inspirational efforts and results in this Park. Every brave man and woman who is part of the park ranger corps at Marakele National Park should feel assured of and can count on my recognition and support, and that of South African National Parks. We honour you and thank you for your tireless efforts and the extraordinary work that you do to ensure that the integrity of our beautiful park remains intact, and that our rhinos specifically are safe.”
He added: “We specifically acknowledge the counter poaching operations of the Marakele National Park rangers who remains on full-time high alert as a strategy to deal with poaching and the present senseless onslaught on rhinos. To date your efforts are rewarded with few incidents in the past and no poaching incidents for almost a year.”
The rangers put on a simulated rhino poaching incident, snake bite incident and beautiful displays of the fire drills. Later on, they enjoyed different sporting codes. The day would not have been such a success had it not been for the sponsorships obtained from various stakeholders in the Thabazimbi area.