Ranger Shinka’s Story

My name is Shinka and I have been working as a ranger at the Elephant Aware project for over a year now. Elephant Aware is a project that works to protect elephants and also other wildlife. The reason why I wish to be a ranger is because it is an opportunity to serve our nation in conserving our wildlife. I have gained a lot of experience since I started my job and I have come to realise that wild animals can be very dangerous and especially when you have no experience around them. Since I was born I have lived in a place that has wildlife and growing up I have seen many conflict incidents between domestic and wild animals, as well as Human-Wildlife-Conflict. Now through my work I can see for myself that in order to help avoid these problems, rangers are very important and necessary. I think it is particularly vital that rangers involve local communities in their work and that conservation education is a key element towards reducing conflict. I personally would like to see my own community living with wildlife peacefully and I hope to achieve this through my work and help them see the benefit of sharing our land with wildlife. For the most part, my own experience of living with wildlife has been harmonious in general and I feel that I gain more because of them, especially elephants. From the great deal that I have learned as a ranger, I have found that a lot of conflict which occurs between people and wildlife can be avoided if we are all willing to do our part in preventing it. Of course I realise that the situation is not always so simple and it will take much work, patience and collaboration to achieve this. Many Kenyans, and particularly communities who live alongside wildlife and/or near national parks and reserves seem disconnected from their wildlife heritage and are often taken advantage of by those who abuse wildlife, such as poachers. I believe that these communities need to be exposed to the benefit of having wildlife in Kenya so that they can appreciate, respect and develop a strong connection with wildlife and nature once again, enabling and encouraging more advocates for its protection. As part of my vision and mission, I believe I have to do that myself in my conservation work to try to achieve the goal that one day our children will get to see the benefit of wildlife as well and the glorious natural treasures which exist in our country. Please continue to support our work and share what we do with others, as it is hugely appreciated. Thank you!
– Ranger Shinka