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‘Helping Rhinos’ Launches Specialist Black Mamba Team to Fight Wildlife Crime

CRISIS - Mass Extinction by HELPING RHINOS Africa Oct 20th 20222 mins
‘Helping Rhinos’ Launches Specialist Black Mamba Team to Fight Wildlife Crime

A new specialist Black Mamba team, who will focus on pro-active wildlife crime prevention on the landscapes of Greater Kruger National Park will soon be fully operational following an intensive period of training. 

Helping Rhinos is proud to have funded this team which has been selected from over 200 applications received and the successful candidates were jointly chosen after a screening process by our fitness partners, the local tribal authorities and our senior Black Mambas. Additional funding was provided by DER Touristik.

“The new team has been recruited from the Maseke and Makushani tribes, on our western boundary, and these six young women have already exceeded expectations.” – said Craig Spencer, Founder of the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit.

“It is in this time that we find it necessary to reinforce our model, following on the past decade of success. To relax now, would be to waste the last 10 years investments that the Mambas and their supporters have made.”

The team was engaged with a specially tailored training regime for the first 6 weeks of their deployment and although their training includes the traditional para-military curriculum, we have solicited the expertise of external specialists to upskill the team to focus on the following aspects of our pro-active model:

  • Search-and-destroy poachers snares, traps and camps.
  • Conduct roaming and routine vehicle stop-and-searches.
  • Conduct frequent inspections and searches of contractors building sites and camps.
  • Regular visits to unsupervised staff quarters in remote areas.
  • Take responsibility for remote camera-traps and other early-warning technology.
  • Keep data-bases up-to-date on all of the above.
  • Hold frequent observation and information-gathering posts in hot-spots and on suspicious activities.

This team will be mobile across all of the landscapes where the Black Mambas operate in the Greater Kruger Nationa Park and will work directly with the Operations Centre.

The above mentioned duties have been carried out by the other Black Mamba teams, on an ad hoc basis, and as the responsibilities of the Mambas has increased, it has become necessary to deploy a team that focuses on these aspects, whilst the other teams continue with their disruptive patrols.

The Black Mambas strive to make the landscape undesirable and unprofitable for poachers, and foster an ethos of environmental patriotism amongst the villages. This requires continuous pro-active interventions and includes disruptive patrols and information gathering at a high-frequency.

Check out the launch of the new Black Mambas Crime Prevention Unit, which took place in London on October 6, 2022

This article was originally published on Helping Rhinos and is republished here as part of an editorial partnership with Earth.Org.

You might also like: 7 Fascinating Facts About Rhinos You Might Not Know About


About the Author


With a holistic and innovative approach to rhino conservation, Helping Rhinos has gone from strength to strength in the ten years since its inception and has raised over £2.25 million to further its goal to create and protect Rhino Strongholds across Africa and allow rhino populations to expand and flourish for generations to come. With 72% of the world’s rhino populations found in South Africa and the largest black rhino population in East and Central Africa found in Kenya, it is no coincidence that Helping Rhinos has been concentrating its efforts in these areas. Through highly successful fundraising initiatives and the establishment of effective partnerships in the field, Helping Rhinos has contributed to keeping anti-poaching Rangers operational, both on the ground and in the sky; rescued, rehabilitated and rewilded rhino orphans; assisted in the development of groundbreaking technology that is both protecting rhino from poachers and giving hope to a future for the 'functionally extinct' northern white rhino and, supported local communities, including the building of a new school to help give the next generation a better start in life.

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