An anti-poaching unit with a difference, meet The Black Mamba APU. Founded by Transfrontier Africa in 2013, what sets this unit apart from others is that its teams are mostly made up of women. Having grown from just 6 members to a current total of 26, plus an additional 23 armed guards, the unit plays an invaluable role in protecting the local wildlife from poachers.
Based in South Africa, the unit mainly protects areas of the Greater Kruger National Park and Balule Nature Reserve with the team being made up of people from local disadvantaged communities around these areas. Poaching is an all too serious problem in South Africa, as it is across the world, with endangered animals such as rhinos pushed to the brink of extinction by those who kill animals to profit from the sale of their body parts. The Black Mamba APU hopes to both help protect animals, as well as local people by providing them with jobs and training.
The Black Mambas tackle poaching in many different ways. The primary way is actively addressing poaching by destroying the snares that animals become caught in and shutting down poacher’s camps and the kitchens that deal in bush meat. Since the group first began patrolling, the areas they are present in have seen a 76% reduction in snaring and poisoning activities, as well as the closing down of 10 poachers’ camps and 3 bush meat kitchens.
However, just as important as this direct confrontation of poachers is the efforts the Black Mamba unit makes to educate local people. By teaching local communities the importance of protecting the environment and the animals that dwell within it, the unit hopes to prevent any more people from turning to poaching in the future. It is the group’s objective that the war on poaching will be won with community and education, not guns and violence.
To support The Black Mamba APU with their anti-poaching mission, click here where you can learn more about their efforts and donate to the cause.