A group of retired US vets are in Africa, and their mission is to stop poaching before it contributes to the elimination of all local endangered species. According to the African Wildlife Foundation, rhinos, elephants, and other types of African wildlife may go extinct in our lifetime.
Activists in the United States are enlisting retired vets to take part in an organization that puts their years of combat training to work for a good cause. The non-profit VETPAW (Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife) is focused on protecting African wildlife from illegal hunting and capturing.
Meet Kinessa Johnson, a US Army veteran who served four years in Afghanistan. According to her, “We’re going over there to do some anti-poaching, kill some bad guys, and do some good.”
Her team is now stationed in Tanzania and already she’s noticed a decrease in poaching activity because their presence is known.Her team’s primary focus at the moment will be to train park rangers and patrol with them to provide support.
According to Kinessa, African park rangers are in serious need of assistance. “They lost about 187 guys last year trying to save rhinos and elephants.” The training these U.S vets will provide includes marksmanship, field medicine, and counter-intelligence.
Kinessa joined VETPAW because because protecting endangered species is a cause that speaks to her heart. Because Africa experiences the highest rates of poaching in the world, it made sense for her to volunteer her strength and skill to help protect some of the wildlife who are targets of poachers. Their criminal act also usually funds war and terrorism in Africa.
You can also support Johnson and her team by donating to VETPAW and sharing their mission.