By Duncan Alfreds
Game rangers should be honoured for the work that they do, a game rangers' association has said.
The organisation celebrates Game Rangers day on Wednesday, but has warned that the increase in poaching put their lives at risk.
"Many rangers lose their lives whilst protecting our natural heritage whether it is due to sickness, fire, animal related death or increasingly to armed skirmishes with poachers," said the Game Rangers' Association of Africa.
It reported that in 2012, 41 game rangers in Africa died in the line of duty and called on the public to support them in the work to protect endangered species.
"The Game Rangers' Association of Africa (GRAA) asks the international community to join us in saluting these brave men and women who have paid the ultimate price for conservation by celebrating their lives and indeed their calling on World Ranger Day."
Rhino poachers represent one of the most dangerous threats to rangers and in 2013, at least 515 rhino have been killed, on course to almost double the number killed in 2012 at the current rate.
The threat posed by poachers is intended to intimidate game rangers, said the head of the environmental crime investigation unit at the Kruger National Park. More....