A former Royal Marine from Hindley Green is using his military skills to help train safari rangers protecting some of Africa’s most endangered species.
Dale Edwards is travelling to South Africa where he will volunteer with Veterans For Wildlife, a charity which pairs veterans with anti-poaching programmes.
The 30-year-old will be one of two veterans offering basic tactical and first aid training to rangers at Nambiti Game Reserve in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Anti-poaching rangers in Africa are engaged in an ongoing battle to protect endangered wildlife, such as rhinos and elephants, from heavily armed poachers.
Dale will use experience gained in his tours of Iraq and Afghanistan to train Nambiti’s rangers.
“I’m hoping to improve the standards and professionalism of the units tasked with protecting the animals, in turn boosting moral and empowering them to take a stand against poachers,” said Dale.
He also said he hoped his time with V4W would raise awareness of conservation issues and give animals the voice they need.
Dale, who works in maritime security since leaving the Marines, said he hoped his volunteering opportunity would give him a greater insight into the measures currently in place to prevent poaching.
He added: “It’s become an ambition of mine to help protect the natural world for the next generation.
“I would like to be able to take away a valuable experience that I am able to use to drive other individuals like myself to get involved and offer their time.
It’s only with an integrated and inclusive approach for the people of Africa that we can educate people who may otherwise be persuaded to take up poaching, in the need to protect and appreciate wildlife.”