For more than three years, a South African group, made up mostly of women, have patrolled the borders of Kruger National Park, keeping a watchful eye out for signs of poachers.
The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit, as they’re called, is currently made up of 26 women who walk up to 12 miles a day to protect the area’s endangered wildlife. In just a few short years, snaring has been reduced by 75 percent and, thus far, no rhinos – whose horns can fetch a hefty $60,000 per pound on the black market – have not been killed on their watch.
Black Mamba member Felicia Mogakane said before the group was formed, people in the community doubted their abilities to protect the endangered wildlife.
“They were all saying, what are they thinking? Women cannot do this, this is a man’s job. But we have proved them wrong,” Mogakane said.
The group said they have been at the epicenter of the rhino poaching crisis at the wildlife park, which is home to the largest rhino population in the world. At the current poaching rate, the group said, the rhino will be extinct in less than 10 years.