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Ranger Benson: News

Ranger Benson

Reserve ranger: Benson Bweupe

Country: Zambia

Partner organisation: Kasanka Trust

Benson is one of the Keepers of the Wild patrolling the Kasanka National Park surrounded by the Kafinda Game Management Area in Zambia. He has been working for the Kasanka Trust since 2000 and became a Keeper of the Wild in 2016.

While on a shift Benson stays in the bush and conducts patrols to deter poachers, often at night on high alert for gunshots. With the current demand for ivory, Benson’s night patrols often include dangerous confrontations with armed poachers attempting to hunt African Elephants. It is also one of his responsibilities to administer the arrest of poachers, including attending court cases.

Benson lives outside the park and travels two hours by bike to get to work, where he works ten days living in the field before taking five days off. Most of the patrols are concentrated in the centre of the park around the bat forest as this is where most poachers are found, but Benson also enjoys taking visitors on tours around the reserve.

Before he became a scout for the Kasanka Trust, Benson was a subsistence farmer, and values the wildlife of the park highly for enabling him to start a career in environment protection so he can earn and support his family. He thinks conservation is incredibly important, especially due to the intense pressure from poaching affecting the Kasanka National Park. 

Kasanka National Park is a rich oasis of African biodiversity with 443 bird species, 120 mammals, 65 reptiles and some 70 fish species recorded in the area over the last three decades. As well as being home to the world’s densest populations of Sitatunga and Puku antelope, the park also hosts a migratory colony of eight million Straw-coloured Fruit Bats, a true wildlife spectacle which Benson helps to monitor.

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