The African Wildlife Foundation reports that rhinos, elephants, and other types of African wildlife may go extinct in our lifetime, and the effects of poaching are definitely not to be taken lightly.
For example, the number of Black Rhinos has dropped by 97.6 percent since 1960, and it’s very clear that unless some invested interest and heavy force is given to help reduce the rates of poaching, many animals will go extinct, and the whole planet will feel the effects of that.
One way U.S. activists are trying to put an end on poaching is by enlisting retired vets to take part in an organization that puts their years of experience in combat training to work overseas. The organization is called VETPAW (Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife), and it’s entirely focused on protecting wildlife from being illegally hunted.
Kinessa Johnson, a US Army veteran who served 4 years in Afghanistan is a recent addition to the group, and she and a team arrived in Africa to take on a new mission. According to her, they’re there to do some anti-poaching, take down some bad guys, and do some good.
She and her team of fellow vets arrived in Tanzania, and she says that she has already noticed a decrease in poaching activity in her team’s area because their presence is known.
Her team’s primary focus is to train park rangers and patrol with them to provide support.
She says that African park rangers lost about 187 men last year over trying to save rhinos and elephants, and the training they will provide includes field medicine, marksmanship, and counter-intelligence.