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Watch: Leopard’s Kill in Tree, Game Ranger Explains

leopard gazelle
Photo by Carlos Torres on Unsplash

Game rangers hold a very unique set of skills, including tracking, survival, and weapon handling. Their deep understanding of wildlife is imperative in maintaining the conservation efforts of game reserves.

Animals Around the Globe on Youtube

The Leopard Kill

leopard
Leopards are excellent climbers. Photo by Bibake Uppal on Unsplash

In the video above, Mphilo Mhlanga shows Animals Around The Globe’s own Chris Weber a dead gazelle on a branch high up in a tree. Mphilo explains that the buck had been killed around three months prior by a leopard and dragged up the tree for safekeeping. 

The remnants left behind by the leopard have been feasted on by scavenger birds like vultures. Hyenas cannot climb trees and can only hope that the carcass falls down to the ground. Furthermore, Mphilo points out the deep scratches carved into the tree trunk by the leopard’s retractable claws.

Mphilo is an experienced guide and ranger working for Africa’s Most Endangered Species (AMES) Foundation in the Dabchick Wildlife Reserve, South Africa. Game rangers like Mphilo have a crucial role in protecting and maintaining the territorial and biological integrity of the reserves they oversee. 

Game Rangers 

game ranger ames foundation
Image Credit: @amesfoundation on Instagram

The primary responsibility of game rangers is the management and conservation of a reserve’s ecosystem and wildlife. Moreover, they possess extensive knowledge of the animals, plants, and ecosystems they work in, and occasionally give their lives up to protect the land and animals for which they are so passionate about.

Game Rangers’ Roles & Responsibilities

game ranger
Photo by redcharlie on Unsplash
  • Threat protection: Possibly one of the most important tasks, game rangers actively protect wildlife from poaching and illegal hunting. They work closely with conservation units and law enforcement agencies to combat these activities.
  • Wildlife monitoring and research: They may conduct ecological surveys, monitor animal movements, and track individual animals.
  • Habitat management: They ensure that the reserve’s habitat is well-managed and maintained. This includes controlling invasive species, managing vegetation, and supervising controlled fires.
  • Guiding and educating visitors: Typically the job of a game guide, rangers may share in entertaining guests.
  • Assisting with veterinary care: In some cases, rangers may assist with wildlife veterinary procedures. This includes immobilizing animals for medical treatment or relocating injured animals to veterinary facilities.
  • Collaborating with local communities: Game rangers work closely with neighboring communities to promote conservation awareness and address any conflicts. This may involve implementing community-based wildlife management initiatives or supporting socio-economic projects.
  • Emergency response: Rangers are trained to handle emergency situations, like animal attacks or natural disasters. They provide first aid, coordinate rescue operations, and respond to wildlife emergencies.
  • Maintenance and infrastructure: Additionally, they play a role in maintaining equipment and infrastructure to ensure good conditions for visitors and staff.

How To Become A Game Ranger

game ranger game drive
Photo by redcharlie on Unsplash

Game rangers often stay in very isolated areas, surrounded by nature. They work long hours and can find themselves in stressful, even dangerous, situations. Furthermore, they should possess the right kind of characteristics for the job: patient, good observation skills, adaptable, level-headed, and physically fit. 

If you are interested in becoming a ranger, you can enroll in a course related to wildlife management, conservation, and/or guiding. There are many institutions in the United States or in South Africa

If you don’t want to be a full-time ranger, there are often volunteer opportunities available at national parks and reserves. 

Conclusion

As Mphilo demonstrated, game rangers possess an impressive set of skills and knowledge about the areas they oversee. Rangers like him ensure the safety of endangered animals against poachers and the conservation of the area as a whole. 

Watch our conversation with the AMES Foundation here:

YouTube video

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