Every year on 31st July we join the world in acknowledging and appreciating the vital efforts our rangers put into the protection and preservation of our wildlife and habitat. At Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, we have a total of 115 rangers, with 81 offering general security and 34 offering anti-poaching security. A dog unit, which forms part of this team, includes well-trained dogs that help deal with and stop any possible attacks on the conservancy.
The journey to get to where we are today began many years ago. Lewa’s founders understood the importance of having dedicated assistance to manage the preservation of wildlife upon witnessing the reality of the threat to the black rhino. In a short span of time, Kenya’s black rhino had moved from a thriving species to an endangered species. It was at this point that our ranger team was set up.
Our rangers faced an incessant battle with poachers. Specifically, between 2012 and 2013, Lewa saw a total of 13 rhinos lost due to poaching. Even though those were dark years for the Lewa ranger team, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy today is on the cutting edge of effective wildlife conservation, imploring the latest technology with world-class security training for our rangers. This has seen a significant decline in anti-poaching activities, with the last major incident of rhino poaching taking place almost three years ago. This use of modern technology has also seen us manage human-wildlife conflict in a better and more efficient manner.
Whilst we glory in a season where there have been no major poaching incidences, our teams are constantly vigilant, fully aware of the threats that continue to exist.
Rangers such as Francis Kobia have been with LWC for two decades, wholeheartedly offering their time and service. Francis, who joined Lewa in 1994, has witnessed the highs and lows of service as a ranger. One such high was the historic event that was the construction of the elephant underpass. In 2011, LWC together with other stakeholders in the region, built the elephant underpass connecting the conservancy to Mount Kenya.
Francis recalls how he and his colleagues used elephant dung to map out the route for the elephants on Lewa to use to get through the underpass to Mount Kenya. He fondly remembers Tony, the elephant that led the other elephants through the underpass. For Francis, this marked a time of great pride in his career as a ranger. Every year about 1500 elephants use the underpass to and fro.
So successful was this activity that LWC is now regarded as a thought leader in the conservation space in Kenya and throughout the region. Locally, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy works closely with Kenya Wildlife Service and other sister conservancies to share best practices in effective security and conservation management.
Watch Video of Francis Kobia
This July we shall be showcasing our rangers and the vital role they play in our success as Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Hear Their Stories
Have you ever wondered what a ranger’s experiences are truly like? Join us for a live webinar on Friday, 29th July 2022, 4 pm EAT/ 9am EST / 2pm GMT / for a Q&A session with Francis, and other Lewa rangers.