We had to break from our edit to share this incredible story of bravery...
Michael Baloyi, a field ranger in the Kruger National Park has been awarded for his bravery in saving the life of a fellow field ranger on patrol with him one night in the Letaba river: "It was especially dark at that point of the night. We were motionless, lying in wait to apprehend poachers that frequently use that particular route. Suddenly I heard something. I saw a leopard running towards my colleague. I realized that my colleague was in danger. It was either the leopard or his life. I had to make a choice. I pointed my rifle at the leopard and shot it down about three meters from him. He did not even see the leopard. A leopard is extremely fast. You only have one shot. If you miss this shot, it could be fatal."
Incredibly sad to lose a leopard in the park, but this goes to show the challenges our rangers face while protecting our rhinos. Ranger Baloyi has been a ranger inside Kruger for 23-years. He says poaching has been on the increase and the conservation work he did early on his career has now been replaced by anti-poaching duties. Thank-you Rangers.
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