KNP gets new chief ranger

2015-11-04 16:34
The newly appointed KNP Chief Ranger Xolani Nicholus Funda. (SANPARKS)

The newly appointed KNP Chief Ranger Xolani Nicholus Funda. (SANPARKS)

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Johannesburg — A new chief ranger has been appointed at Kruger National Park, whose managers are struggling to stem record levels of rhino poaching.

SANParks said on Tuesday that Xolani Nicholus Funda, a former ranger who has also been a university lecturer in nature conservation, took over the top ranger post at Kruger National Park this month.

Park officials say Funda's past conservation work with local communities is critical because people living on the borders of national parks are key to thwarting wildlife crime.

Funda replaces Johan Jooste, a former military officer who has described the campaign against rhino poaching as a war, who has moved to the head office.

Nicholus Funda says “I have nothing but respect for General Jooste as he laid the foundation and formulated the strategies for a smooth co-ordination between Rangers and other law enforcement agencies when rhino poaching escalated in the KNP. He is my boss; and we will continue to work closely as a team, bringing in the different skills and experience when it comes to issues pertaining to wildlife crime."

The government says poachers killed a record 1 215 rhino in the country last year.

Read more on:    sanparks  |  knp  |  wildlife conservation  |  rhino poaching

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