JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The majestic sight of wild animals roaming freely through South Africa's game reserves is being severely threatened by poachers targeting the rhinoceros.
More than 600 rhinos in South Africa have been killed for their horns this year. To help combat poaching, a foundation is setting up a pilot project in the Madikwe Game Reserve, along South Africa's northern border with Botswana, to bring military-style training to the rangers there. The program, financed by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, puts the rangers through an intensive six-week training program, overseen by former Special Task soldiers from around the world. The project will expanded into other areas where rhino poaching has reached a crisis point, says the foundation.
Rangers learn combat training, target shooting, building camouflage netting to ambush the poachers and are introduced with new equipment to combat poaching.