Happy International Women’s Day! Today, I’m thrilled to bring you the story of some seriously bad-assed women. The group is known as the Black Mambas, and they’re an anti-poaching unit comprised of 33 women and 2 very secure men. They have been remarkably effective at eradicating poaching of elephants, lions, buffalo, pangolin, and especially both black and white rhinos.
South Africa is home to roughly 80% of the world’s rhino population, and as I’m sure you’ve heard, rhino horns go for more than gold on the black market. 1,028 rhino were poached in the country just in 2017 alone. The group patrols the Balule Nature Reserve in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park, and they are fighting rhino poachers without guns! They patrol the 52,000-hectare park primarily on foot, checking for signs of poachers, destroying traps, and calling in police when needed.
The group also runs a junior program known as Black Mamba Bush Babies. They teach children between 12 and 15 about wildlife, animal protection, and ecology and conservation. Children are taken on outings through the reserve to observe the animals in their own habitats. The program has been so successful, it’s now offered in 10 schools in the area.
The anti-poaching unit is so inspirational, there is even a Black Mambas Hollywood movie currently in production. The movie is being produced by Jessica Chastain’s production company, and the script was written by Zimbabwean-American actress and writer Danai Gurira, best known for her role as Michonne in The Walking Dead. I can’t wait!
You can learn more and help support the Black Mambas on their website.