Nairobi — The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on Sunday hosted World Rangers Day celebrations at its Law Enforcement Academy in Manyani, Voi.
The day marked every year on July 31 commemorates rangers killed or injured while they were in the line of duty.
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala joined KWS officers for a session during which he said he “interacted and walked in their shoes and can confidently assert being a ranger is a noble calling, one full of bravery and selflessness.”
“Conservation heroes wade in literal and figurative trenches, grappling with dangerous terrain, wild animals and poachers,” Balala added..
Balala honored the nation’s rangers describing them as the unsung heroes who are always in danger from poachers and harm from wildlife they have sworn to protect.
Principal Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Zeinab Hussein appreciated the role played by rangers in conserving and protecting natural treasures and cultural heritage.
“I celebrate rangers working in the background driven by the unshakeable belief that our unparalleled wildlife biodiversity must be protected for present and future generations and also for placing Kenya on the Global Map as a World Leader in conservation,” Zeinab said.
Director General of KWS, John Waweru, stated that many rangers live away from their families and loved ones in remote outposts where they are not only rangers but also teachers, researchers, census-takers, advisors, law enforcers, fathers and mothers to the communities they live with.
“Rangers also play a key role in human-wildlife conflict, the Problem Animal Control Unit (PAMU) rangers are constantly on the move, country wide, to rescue, retrieve and relocate wildlife which have strayed into human settlements,” Waweru said.
The event concluded with an award ceremony during which exceptional rangers and stations were acknowledged and given various prizes for being conservation champions in their respective fields.