Running for Rangers

Running for Rangers are a dedicated group of individuals who run ultra marathons worldwide to raise money for the welfare of the rangers who risk their lives daily to protect elephant and rhino in Africa.

Protecting rhino and elephant requires large numbers of highly trained and above all, trustworthy rangers to perform these tasks. The monitoring of rhino involves skilled tracking and perseverance in thick bush. Long hours are spent amongst elephant, lion, buffalo and other dangerous animals in the pursuit of identifying and establishing the daily whereabouts and health of each individual rhino. The anti-poaching security team operates almost exclusively at night, in response to current trends of poachers. These men are on the front line and protecting these animals against heavily armed and ruthless gangs, as well as working in harsh, cold and uncomfortable conditions. Over a thousand rangers have been killed in the line of duty since 2013.

It is dangerous, tough and thankless work, and if we are to keep rhino and elephant from extinction, there is a huge need to keep our men safe and motivated, both for their welfare and for the welfare of the iconic species they risk their lives to protect. To do this the equipment, training and resources provided to them is paramount, not only to their own safety and their ability to protect wildlife, but also towards the self-worth and loyalty they feel towards the difficult task they are faced with. Their loyalty towards the conservation ideal is crucial.

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Despite increases in technology to aid the conservation of rhino and elephant, like drones and tracking chips, the most important part of protecting wildlife is “trusted boots on the ground” – men who are prepared and trained to work long hours monitoring and protecting rhino.

All these men operate in tough conditions, and cover vast areas on foot each day. In order to do this they need top-quality clothing that is suited to the warm days, cold nights and tough terrain.

Good quality military clothing is not available in Kenya and has to be imported. This includes decent boots, socks and wet and cold weather gear. If they are not adequately equipped in their areas of operations, they will cease to be effective at their jobs. They will also lose morale with the possibility of defecting or being threatened by to the poaching gangs.

The cost of equipping and training a frontline ranger for a year is a little over $6000.