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Meet the american woman who tracks down and kills elephant poachers

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Meet the American woman who tracks down and kills elephant poachers. Army Veteran. Military Women. African Animals. Army Police. American Women.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The Poacher Hunters - Newsbeat Documentaries

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How do you kill an elephant without a gun, if all you've got is a spear, and your 20 centimeters 8 inches of sharpened metal is going up against five tons of thick-skinned beast? As soon as the bull elephant approaches, the Maasai warrior leaps from his hiding place in the bush and onto a rock, ramming the spear diagonally downward into the animal's huge body.

It manages to stagger on for just a few meters before collapsing. The poacher takes a knife, carves the tusks from its jaw and walks away with the ivory. Faye Cuevas and her fellow investigators at the International Fund for Animal Welfare IFAW , a global conservation organization with around 3 million supporters worldwide, confirmed it.

They refer to the poacher as "Venice 1. Cuevas, a year-old American, is not your average conservationist. For 17 years, she worked in military intelligence. As lieutenant colonel in the U.

Air Force, she was responsible for uncovering terror networks in Afghanistan and Iraq and, in Africa, helped fight the Lord's Resistance Army of brutal Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony. Now Cuevas, a law school graduate, is using her experience to save animals. Covering an area on the Kenya-Tanzania border ranging from the Maasai Mara reserve in the west to the Indian Ocean, this IFAW conservation project is known as tenBoma, meaning 10 houses , and serves as a blueprint for conservation work in an overcrowded world.

Kenya's population is growing by over a million people every year. Seventy percent of its wild animals spend at least part of their lives outside of protected areas.

Conflicts between people and animals are part of daily life, which helps drive poaching. In addition, Kenya is a major transfer country for traffickers, with tons of ivory and other goods being shipped from the port of Mombasa to Asia. Then we'll be able to stop them. African elephants are particularly hard hit.

Although the ivory trade is now proscribed in China, formerly its biggest market, an African pachyderm is still killed for its tusks roughly once every 25 minutes, reports Traffic, a conservation organization.

Over the past years, the population has declined by more than 90 percent. In Kenya, around 26, elephants remain. Fewer than 2, of these live in Amboseli National Park. Situated in the south of the country on the Tanzanian border and dominated by the almost 5,metre 19,foot Mount Kilimanjaro, it is a dusty plain covered in scrub and thorny acacias and dotted with small groups of gnus, zebras and gazelles. Here, the people are fearful of lions and hyenas, of venomous snakes like the black mamba -- and of elephants.

This morning, like every other morning, the herds are roaming from the foot of the imposing massif out across the often swampy plain in search of fresh grass, their bulky forms softly lit by the rising sun. Meanwhile, a four-by-four heads to the conservationists' operations center, a large tent behind a hill, trailed by dust. A report on Operation "Venice" is displayed on a projector screen.

He was initially able to evade the investigators' grasp but, after a tip-off, the tenBoma team and officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service KWS managed to track him down in the coastal town of Diani Beach, some kilometers to the east.

On Jan. He was arrested and, like "Venice 1," persuaded to cooperate with the investigators. From a search of his mobile phone, they learned that he passed the ivory on to a dealer in Tanzania.

The spotlight then fell on "Venice 3. A suspect was tracked down, arrested and questioned, the resulting intelligence analyzed, the next suspect targeted: This is how the investigation team is opening up the poachers' network -- one link at a time. Achieving that, however, requires the cooperation of local communities, which is why the term "humint" human intelligence crops up frequently in tenBoma's reports -- and why Cuevas and colleagues maintain close contact with the Maasai living in the Amboseli region.

At the tenBoma operations center, a group of men in green camouflage gear has gathered for the morning operations meeting -- rangers from the Maasai villages. Seventy-six such rangers have already been recruited in the area. They liaise closely with their state counterparts but are paid by IFAW. Patrick Papatiti, who heads the group, steps forward. He points to a map of the region, on which some areas are highlighted in red.

These are the poaching hotspots, areas where tenBoma analysts consider wildlife to be in particular danger. Poachers, the investigators have discovered, are petty criminals, people living in the villages with close ties to the savannah and its animals. They are driven to poaching by factors such as a lack of prospects or social instability in their communities, and sometimes by anger toward wildlife.

The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people who live in "boma," homesteads of clay huts that are arranged in a circle, in the center of which goats and cattle spend their nights. They are protected only by a thicket of acacia -- not a particularly effective defense against lions or hyenas. At night, predators move in and find easy pickings. Elephants, too, cause harm, trampling over the Maasai's small fields, for instance.

Sometimes the loss is even worse: in March, a bull elephant killed a year-old local boy. He'd been provoking it together with some other children and the animal attacked. Here, nature is still the enemy, and such incidents are traditionally met with retaliation. By the next morning, the Maasai warriors, known as "morans," go on the attack.

Here, people learn to kill elephants and lions at an early age. The more humans and animals cross each other's paths, the more wild animals die. The situation worsens when severe drought strikes the country, as it did in , and social cohesion in the villages breaks down. Then ivory traffickers have no difficulty in finding willing butchers. Papatiti was once a moran. It's almost uncanny how his senses are attuned to the savannah's dangers.

Now, the rangers perform this function, by acting quickly to spot and defuse potential conflicts. They serve as a new communal security force that combines conservation priorities with the interests of local people. It has proven effective. Poaching has "dramatically decreased.

Papatiti is well-respected in the Maasai community and is thus invaluable to Cuevas. The entire tenBoma concept rests on winning the trust of locals.

When people are content, so the assumption goes, they don't poach. A big part of her work is shaking hands, giving speeches, smiling and drinking tea beneath shady acacias -- and she's the ideal person for the job. A mother of three, Cuevas is trained in the use of all current U. Army firearms and has, on multiple occasions, come under fire in war zones. Among the Maasai, however, she acts as a mediator. Today, Cuevas has been invited to the home of Sontika Ole Melok, leader of the region's approximately 5, morans.

They're on good terms, Cuevas having secured his approval by presenting his community with a valuable Boran stock bull. The tenBoma team is given a suitably warm reception. The women, wearing bold red or blue costumes with bracelets, earrings and necklaces of bright pearls, sing for their guests, then the young warriors dance to rhythmic chanting, moving with increasing vigor before uttering sharp battle cries and leaping high into the air.

Sontika's boma is the cultural hub of the morans' world. It's here that the young warriors grow into men in a kind of supervised puberty, overseen by one of the tribal elders.

Indeed, the tenBoma project is as much development aid as it is conservation. The rangers' salaries support Maasai families, while IFAW also offers a number of scholarships and helps erect fences to keep out wildlife. What's more, Cuevas has brought another new source of income to the villages: In the past, the Maasai women only made jewellery for themselves. But now they are finding buyers among the conservationists, and the hope is that, in time, they will be able to sell to tourists too.

Their earnings are reinvested in the community: beds and mattresses have been purchased, a toilet erected and a schoolhouse built in which some of the women are now learning to read and write. The recruits of "Team Lioness" can hardly believe their luck -- they are the first women from the Maasai community to have paid jobs. For the conservationists, the Maasai don't have to love elephants, they just have to feel it is in their interest for elephants to survive.

Then they will be motivated to keep their eyes and ears open and to help the investigators. It's a strategy that has proven itself in practice.

The number of tips from the community has multiplied, say the rangers. Almost 90 animals have been saved, more than kilograms pounds of ivory seized and three ivory traffickers apprehended. The man ran an illegal motorbike dealership in Tarakea, Tanzania, right on the border with Kenya. The team established contact via a front, pretending to be interested in a bike. The idea was to try and lure "Venice 3" over the border with the prospect of a sale so that he can be arrested by enforcement officers from the KWS.

It could happen any day, all that remains is to agree on a time and meeting point. There is moderate risk, according to the investigators. The suspect could resist arrest and might be armed. The operation, called tenBoma, is led by Faye Cuevas, a veteran U.

Pfeil nach links. Pfeil nach rechts. Suche starten Icon: Suche. Nature as Enemy At the tenBoma operations center, a group of men in green camouflage gear has gathered for the morning operations meeting -- rangers from the Maasai villages. Animals Africa Environment. Teilen Sie Ihre Meinung. Melden Sie sich an und diskutieren Sie mit Anmelden Pfeil nach rechts.

The Fight Against Elephant Poachers Is Going Commando

All rights reserved. It's a. Behind the wheel is Shadu Hlangwana, with Felicia Mogahane in the passenger's seat and Carol Khosa in the back with me. Having lost my luggage in transport, I'm wearing jeans with a beige fleece and camouflage cap from the Pondoro Game Lodge , the reserve property that is my home for the next two nights.

And the rangers have called in the troops. Illegal poaching has become such a major crisis that game parks across Africa are increasingly turning to active soldiers, veterans, and military technologies to protect wildlife.

T he black metal of the AR rifle has worn silvery and shiny in parts after years of use. More manageable than an AK in close-quarter combat, the weapon is precise enough to bring down an enemy target at metres. Used for decades by anti-poaching units throughout Africa , today this gun is not carried by a typical swaggering male field ranger; this one is cradled securely and proficiently by Vimbai Kumire. Kumire is a year-old single mother whose husband ran off with a younger woman while she was pregnant with her second child.

Meet the American woman who tracks down and kills elephant poachers

Find this Pin and more on Good to know by Lisa Morgan. By Any Means Necessary. Military Women. Female Soldier. Badass Women. Guns And Ammo. American Women. Hunting poachers and looking awesome whilst she's at it. Find this Pin and more on life by Anna Regan. Military Army.

US military veterans are fighting a new battle in Africa—against poachers

Chigumbura was jobless, with no skills and no prospects. Chigumbura was not even permitted to visit her daughter. When she came by, the grandmother would spin stories to shoo her away, telling her that her baby was in Mozambique, for example. It went on like this for three years, until one day, when Chigumbura was 20, the village head pulled her aside.

Conservation has become a war, and park rangers and poachers are the soldiers.

The port of Ouesso, in the Republic of Congo, sprawls along the east bank of the Sangha River, a wide, murky stream that winds through the heart of Africa. One recent morning, a crowd gathered around a rotting dock in the harbor to gape at the sight of seven white men stepping gingerly into a foot-long pirogue. Carved out of a tree trunk, and barely wide enough to accommodate a person with knees squeezed together, the pirogue rocked dangerously and seemed about to pitch its passengers into the oil-slicked water. Then it steadied itself, and we settled onto blue canvas folding chairs arranged single file from bow to stern.

A Former Military Operative Goes After Poachers in Kenya

Meet the American woman who tracks down and kills elephant poachers. Find this Pin and more on Random by Carlos Samuels. Chica Fantasy.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Zimbabwe's women's anti-poaching group protecting elephants - BBC News

Meet the American woman who tracks down and kills elephant poachers. Army Veteran. Military Women. African Animals. Army Police. American Women.

Africa’s new elite force: women gunning for poachers and fighting for a better life

By Wills Robinson For Dailymail. An Army veteran who served in Afghanistan has moved to Africa in a bid to stop poaching. She joined the group last November after a four-year stint in the services as a weapons instructor and mechanic. She was also deployed for one tour of Afghanistan. Scroll down for video.

Meet the American woman who tracks down and kills elephant poachers. Trending story found 4 months ago on godlyplaymaterials.com · Meet the American woman.

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The Price of Protecting Rhinos

How do you kill an elephant without a gun, if all you've got is a spear, and your 20 centimeters 8 inches of sharpened metal is going up against five tons of thick-skinned beast? As soon as the bull elephant approaches, the Maasai warrior leaps from his hiding place in the bush and onto a rock, ramming the spear diagonally downward into the animal's huge body. It manages to stagger on for just a few meters before collapsing.

When Sam Wasser, a conservation biologist at the University of Washington, flew into Singapore on October 26, , one of the first things he did was borrow a car and drive to a hardware store. He bought two circular saws, some F clamps and a wheelbarrow.

While giraffe hunter Rebecca Francis incurs the wrath of a thousand animal lovers on Twitter — including Ricky Gervais — Kinessa Johnson is inspiring a wealth of fan support. Johnson , from Washington, poaches poachers in Africa in order to preserve endangered wildlife from becoming extinct. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.

There’s a New Tool in the Fight Against Elephant Poaching

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