Boots on the ground: Protecting rhinos in South Africa from poachers


Matt Bracken

The SEJ Program welcomed anti-poaching ranger Matt Bracken for a talk on his efforts to confront rhino poaching in South Africa. His presentation centered on the role that demand for rhino horn in Vietnam and China has played in creating a lucrative business for organized criminals and local South African poachers. Focusing efforts on preventing and investigating poaching incidents against rhinos, the Protrack rangers are on the frontlines of a battle for two endangered species, the white and black rhinos. Both have been in major decline due to habitat loss in addition to poaching, and are primarily centered in the northeastern part of South Africa. Bracken’s Wild & Free organization is currently working to fund ranger training and other efforts to save rhinos from extinction at the hands of poachers. Wild & Free also aims to mobilize young people to support the protection of wildlife as part of the interdependent circle of life, engaging a variety of rhino educational programs and outreach as part of the “join the tribe!” campaign.

Bracken is also featured in the documentary “We are Rhino”:

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