I came across this article today, and wanted to re-blog it so it doesn’t fade away. You can learn more about the Black Mamba Unit and support their efforts by visiting their web site. Photos by Julia Gunther.
“The Mambas are committed to tracking down snares before animals become victims. “With a mix of lipstick, boots and camouflage fatigues, these women are watching, waiting, walking, constantly on the lookout for early evidence of poacher activity,” Gunther continued. “They are a formidable and highly effective anti-poaching task team that is trying to defend and protect South Africa’s wildlife heritage against poaching.”
In South Africa, the phrase “the Big Five” often refers to lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalo and elephants, the most coveted wildlife in the region. Protection of these species frequently falls into the hands of men; the Mambas are one of the rare instances a position of such importance and power would be delegated to women.
“Each [Mamba] has a story, a dream and a vision for the future,” Gunther explained. “Each has a family to support, a community to educate. Funds are scarce, yet they are passionate and determined. For some, they are the only breadwinners, feeding their families on little wages. For others this is a hopeful step towards furthering their careers. For all of them, the love for nature and its conservation runs deep. Their ethos is to protect this heritage of wildlife.”