ENDANGERED SPECIES DAY is an opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate and learn about endangered species and how to protect them.
We caught up with Glen Thompson, Counter Poaching Manager at the African Pangolin Working Group (APWG) and a Member of the Game Rangers Association of Africa. Glen has been involved in anti-poaching for just over 5 years. His first experience with a recovered pangolin was from a sting operation and has been focusing on pangolin recoveries, rehabilitation and releasing since.
Pangolins are the most trafficked animal in the world. The four African species—the ground pangolin, giant pangolin, white-bellied, and black-bellied—are listed as vulnerable. All species face declining populations because of illegal trade.
What is it that you love about pangolins?
“Each pangolin has it’s own personality and character. I love their uniqueness and how defenseless they are. “
Why have you focused your work specifically on pangolins?
“There is so much awareness of elephant and rhino poaching but not much on the pangolins. The more I got to know about these illusive and shy creatures the more I fell in love with them. So little was known about them and being the most poached mammals in the world I wanted to get to know more and to try and protect them.
I needed a break from performing autopsies on dead rhino and elephant, as it took a heavy emotional toll on me. I was fortunate enough that APWG gave me the opportunity to work for them, giving me the chance to be involved with the rescue of pangolin from the illegal wildlife trade and their rehabilitation and release as well as to learn about this secretive animal.”
What dangers do you face on a daily basis?
“This is totally dependent on what activity I am involved in. The dangers come from poachers, predators and dangerous game”
Have you experienced any confrontations with poachers or wildlife?
“I have been chased by elephant and buffalo while doing foot patrols. I have had confrontations with poachers and a few years ago when I was involved with crime scenes (Rhino and Elephants Autopsies) I received death threats from poaching syndicates.”
What does being covered by Ranger Protect mean to you?
“I have peace of mind knowing my family will not have to worry about the financial implications in event of my death and the knowledge I would be able to have medical assistance as well as monies coming in to support myself in the event of injury.”
What a ranger in Africa gets when you donate $30 or R431:
- 1 year death cover of up to R100 000
- 1 year disability cover of up to R100 000
. 1 year GRAA membership (R95pa)
Please support Africa’s rangers by donating today – https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/ranger-protect
Images supplied by African Pangolin Working group.