RCB is delighted that its newest recruits have been despatched into the bush on their first field assignments. Their existing skills will be assessed by experts, they will be trained in rhino behaviour, and they will re-open monitoring tracks around the Okavango Delta.
One team went with Poster, Rhinos Without Borders’ head monitoring officer, on a training exercise. The other team joined Wilderness Safari’s officer, Pitso, in the field for a three month deployment. Poster and Pitso assessed the new recruits’ existing skills – such as tracking, using GPS, off-road driving, cameras and monitoring apparatus – and began their rhino monitoring training, including tracking on foot.
The new rhino monitoring teams, who are kindly supported by Fondation Segre, must get to know their areas of the Okavango Delta intimately, know which rhinos frequent the area and their habits, and understand the habitat in all seasons. The officers will also re-open old monitoring tracks in a way that does not damage the bush, its vegetation or soils, but reduces the wear and tear on our hard-working vehicles.
The team deployed into the field with Pitso left Maun in style – loading one of our new monitoring vehicles onto a boat for their journey into the heart of the Okavango Delta. We will send up more supplies, when required, in RCB’s new boat.
It’s important our new recruits appreciate that rhino monitoring is a serious responsibility – not to mention potentially dangerous – and requires people of exceptional character: highly disciplined, honest and reliable.
The good news is that all our men passed this first stage with flying colours and are looking forward to growing their rhino knowledge and monitoring skills in the bush.
We’ll let you know how they get on!