There are currently 12 Elephant Aware rangers and each are proud Maasai men from local communities who work daily to secure their natural heritage through their vital work as wildlife guardians.
“My name is Ranger Siranka. I am a guardian of wildlife, and everyday as I work with these wild animals it makes me angry to see what is happening to them, how they are being killed in my country in such huge numbers. But I will protect the wildlife in my area and I am passionate about my work. In this conservancy of ours in which we work as rangers, I feel a lot of pain because here we have all of the Big Five except the rhino, such a wonderful treasure and yet the elephants are suffering so much at the hands of poachers, why? I used to be a herdsman when I was younger and I used to wonder what measures were being taken to protect wildlife with all the terrible poaching in Kenya and I decided I wanted to help, and that is how I was inspired to become a ranger. But since I became a ranger I have been working hard on spreading awareness amongst my fellow Maasai people and within my own communities and especially those who live in close proximity to wildlife. For me and my fellow rangers, it is not about the money, it is not about the income, though it is valuable to me and my family. It is a much bigger picture than just us rangers, it is about the Maasai people. Elephant Aware provides such valuable livelihoods and careers to all of us and ultimately we are working to show our people that if they help us protect and preserve our wildlife, our heritage, we will not only be securing a future for our people and heritage, but also for our children. We will be providing a continuance of irreplaceable values that are embedded deep within our culture but must be carefully given to the generations that succeed us. This small but passionate Elephant Aware project is aiding Kenya greatly in our small but impactful way, by enhancing our country’s tourism industry by protecting our national resources and motivating Kenyans like myself to see wildlife in a special light. I care about tomorrow. I care about Kenya. Wildlife, when promoted and loved and cared for, can benefit and enhance present and future livelihoods of my family, my friends and my entire community. I am not only a ranger, I am passionate individual, I am a guardian of my people’s heritage. My people in Siana do care, my fellow rangers feel just as I do. But you can never stop learning and teaching and it is my mission through my work, to help my people understand the value of our wildlife, our land, and our culture’s perseverance. I want my people to be forward thinking like myself. And slowly they are. Conservation Education has a long way to go in Siana, but with our help and encouragement, I have no doubts of its success. Together we can save our wildlife, together we can help one another. I am feeling so bad with all the poaching and genocide of my wildlife, but I will not stop striving for their better future. I hope you feel the same and please keep supporting us. Ashe Oleng (Thank You).”
For more ranger stories and daily updates on their work visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/elephantawaremasaimara