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Trained to Protect - Rangers from the Northern Rangelands Trust

Posted by Laura Bottaro on 08/30/2012

Trained to Protect - Rangers from the Northern Rangelands Trust

A few months ago we reported that one of the large grant programs the Oklahoma City Zoo supports is the ranger station in Lekurruki ,Kenya one of 17 conservancies under the umbrella of the Northern Rangelands Trust. To date through the Conservation Action Now committee the Oklahoma City Zoo has sent $76,000 to support the ranger’s efforts to thwart elephant poaching and engage in animal/human conflict resolution. Zoo conservation funds built the new ranger station and radio room completed in 2012.

Lekurruki Construction Lerukki Group

Plaque hanging on the new headquarters building in Lekurruki.  Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino and curator Laura Bottaro with the rangers in October 2011.

OKC Zoo at Lewa Headquarters

OKC zoo Directors, NRT CEO and Lekurruki representatives after a briefing at Lewa boma on 7th February 2012

This year the Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Police trained a total of 327 rangers including new recruits from Lekurruki.  The intended output was to build a sustainable team of skilled rangers who could play a major role in protecting Kenya’s wildlife.

NRT and KWS both recognize that long-term wildlife conservation must directly involve the community in which the conservation is to take place. Therefore, they mobilize communities against poachers through continual meetings within villages and amongst different members of society. Historically, the only tool available to government in their anti-poaching operations was an armed response but through the work of NRT, the communities have an appreciation for and value wildlife.

According to the KWS Community Rangers training & situational report, NRT rangers were among the top best performing rangers in the training.  The training highlights the long-term partnership between NRT and KWS and also allows both institutions to work together effectively and with this, they are able to protect not only wildlife but they are able to empower communities and play their part in building this nation and protect this nation’s pride and joy, wildlife. 

 Wildlife Rangers

This year, one of Northern Rangeland Trust’s major accomplishments was graduating 246 rangers from the Field Training School in Manyani which is ran by the Kenya Wildlife Service.

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