Female Anti-Poaching Unit Wins Big U.N. Environmental Award

Not a single rhino has been killed within the territory they protect in over ten months.

via YouTube

Since 2013, the Black Mambas, a 26-member mostly-female band of anti-poaching militants have helped protect the Balule Private Game Reserve in South Africa. According to the U.N., in two years they have “Helped arrest six poachers, reduced snaring by 76%, removed over 1,000 snares, and put five poachers’ camps and two bush meat kitchens out of action.” The reserve they have sworn to protect is home to not only rhino, but elephants, cheetahs, hippos, and leopards as well.

For their work, the U.N. is giving the Black Mambas the Champions of the Earth Award for its “Rapid and impressive impact” with its anti-poaching efforts. “Community-led initiatives are crucial to combatting the illegal wildlife trade and the Black Mambas highlight the importance and effectiveness of local knowledge and commitment,” said Achim Steiner, the UNEP Executive Director.

According to the Mambas, not a single rhino has been killed within the territory they protect in over ten months. Over the same period, in a neighboring reserve, over 23 have been killed by poachers. Rhino protection is vital to South Africa with over 1200 having been killed in 2014 alone. Since 2004, a massive poaching epidemic in the area has pushed the rhino to the brink of extinction. According to Black Mamba Leitah Mkhabela, “I am not afraid, I know what I am doing and I know why I am doing it. If you see the poachers you tell them not to try, tell them we are here and it is they who are in danger."

According to the Black Mambas’ website its main objective is:

“...the protection of wildlife but we also strive to create a strong bond and educate the communities that live on the boundaries of Balule and the Greater Kruger Park to the benefits of saving their natural heritage. It is our belief that the war on poaching will not be won with guns and bullets, but through the local communities and education.”

The Black Mambas will receive their award on September 27th at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York.

(H/T UN.Org)


Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

Keep Reading
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

Keep Reading