5 min read

There is a New Weapon Against Poachers: Women.

An incredible new weapon has joined the battle against poachers: women. They're tough, they're dedicated, and they're fighting poachers in Africa. They are the Black Mamba's; Africa's first female-run anti-poaching unit that are saving Africa's wildlife.

"I am strong. I am a woman. And I bite like a Mamba!"

The Black Mambas are all young women from local communities, and they patrol inside the Greater Kruger national park unarmed. Billed as the first all-female unit of its kind in the world, they are not just challenging poachers, but the status quo.

Photo: Black Mambas

Photo: Black Mambas

Commercial poaching has become big business, thanks to the boom in populations and the "new wealth" in Asia. Consumption of products derived from endangered species is flourishing be it for 'Medicinal' purposes, trinkets and status symbols or just simply to be on the menu. Subsequently rhino poaching has escalated dramatically in recent years and is being driven by the demand for rhino horn in Asian countries, particularly Vietnam and China, due to its use as a status symbol to display someone's success and wealth and in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Although there is no scientific proof of its medicinal value, rhino horn is still highly prized in traditional Asian medicine. It is ground into a fine powder or manufactured into tablets as a treatment for a variety of illnesses such as nosebleeds, strokes, convulsions, and fevers. Despite intensive conservation efforts, poaching of this iconic species is still increasing across South Africa and pushing the remaining rhinos closer and closer towards extinction. If the killing continues at the same rate, we could see rhino deaths overtaking births in 2016-2018, meaning rhinos will go extinct in the very near future.

Photo: Black Mambas

Photo: Black Mambas

The Black Mambas is much more than just an anti-poaching unit. Whilst their main objective is the security of the reserve and the protection of wildlife, they also strive to create a strong bond and educate the communities that live on the boundaries of Balule and the Greater Kruger Park to the benefits of saving their natural heritage. It is their belief that the 'war' on poaching will not be won with guns and bullets, but through social upliftment and the education of local communities surrounding the reserves.

All Black Mamba recruits are from local, previously disadvantaged communities and go through a rigorous 6 week training programme prior to deployment with an existing unit to further their training through work experience.

The Black Mambas are being featured in an exciting new mobile app called World of the Wild, allowing people to participate in virtual wildlife conservation, while supporting charities! Download game by clicking here.

Photo: My Green World

Photo: My Green World

Visit Black Mambas website by clicking here.