The Rocky Anti Poaching Tactical Organisation is named after the famous Staffordshire Bull Terrier from the Rocky Book Series, an adventure series that teaches environmental morals and principles by author and conservationist Cdr. Shaun Chapman. RAPTOR is an anti-poaching Non-Profit Non-Governmental Organization, registration number: 094-719-NPO. RAPTOR’s aims and objectives are to create a poaching free South Africa through a multitude of combined strategies all running concurrently to achieve the desired results. The various sections of RAPTOR comprise:
- an Education Department;
- Training and Development;
- Employment of Environmental Officers and Wildlife Inspectors;
- a Tactical Section;
- an Investigative Section; an Intelligence Section;
- Psychological Operations;
- a Lobbying and Awareness Section;
- Public Service Announcements;
- a Film and TV Section, with strategies all structured to provide a maximum anti-poaching effect
RAPTOR is in the process of creating many reciprocal links with other like-minded organizations around the world, and linking up with law enforcement agencies also bent on the end of the destructive trade in illegal wildlife parts and products. One of the main aims of RAPTOR is to provide environmental education, training and employment of previously disadvantaged individuals and communities, enlisting various strategies to combat poaching and conserve nature, integrated with other projects to fight poaching and stop the destruction of the environment through awareness and lobbying.
RAPTOR’s desire is to stop man’s desire and greed to push the Earth’s flora and fauna into everlasting destruction and extinction. One of our goals is to imbue generations now living with respect of Mother Earth and her creations, generating in humankind the understanding and empathy that leads to preservation and conservation. RAPTOR is the brainchild of a few concerned individuals who wish to see the wrong perpetrated upon the rhinoceros and other wildlife righted. The personnel and members of RAPTOR are: CDR. Shaun Chapman; CDR. Stanley W. Chapman; Lt. CDR. Eugene Engelbretch; Lt (SG). France Mashilo; Lt(JG). Thabo Rathaba; Lt. CDR. Fred-Wade Adams; Member Peter Mashilo; Member Chris Stevens; Member Dumisani Phakathi. Each member of RAPTOR has particular specialized skills needed by the organization for its different operative sections.
The organization’s main objectives are to:
- create a unit and strategies to combat rhino poaching;
- create, and act, on various strategies to combat poaching in general;
- educate people and communities in rural areas of the importance of conserving both flora and fauna;
- train environmental scouts to preserve nature and wildlife, thereby providing training and employment for them;
- gather intelligence on all aspects of poaching; generate sponsorship and income to fund the anti-poaching strategies and any materiel required;
- create an anti-poaching educational establishment and anti-poaching headquarters; distribute anti-poaching books, leaflets and cartoon books at schools in rural areas and communities, and to create media awareness through many different mediums.
Why RAPTOR? What makes us different from the rest of the rank and file anti-poaching organizations, trusts and other bodies or individuals purporting to be working to save wildlife, the environment or the rhinoceros? Well, for one thing we have heart – a lot of it! We give up our time, our earnings, everything, to campaign and strive for something that is close to our very being, something you won’t see on a corporate brochure extolling the virtues thereof for a big organization, or a smaller one for that instance. We do because we have love for the world we live in and the animals that populate it, not the humans who destroy it with their greed. We are not great talkers, we don’t sit listening to others’ ideas and with a smooth oily tongue like a greasy second hand car salesman, or rub our hands together in lascivious wantonness thinking of our next sale or kill, persuading people that we are supporting organizations that support nature. Nor do we ask for donations so we may keep lavish and opulent offices open, or concentrate on by how much we can increase our bloated salaries at the end of the month. No, wildlife conservation is something we spend every breathing and living moment thinking about – and that boils down to saving species, educating people to preserve the planet, its wildlife and the various habitats which both flora and fauna inhabit.
We do not speak with forked tongues. Many financial trusts or organizations extoll their virtues, trying to trick you into spending hard earned cash so they can drive back home in their fancy luxury 4x4s that they have duped a large motor corporation out of, or go back home to the suburbs to an equally opulent house magnificently furnished. We don’t palm on you bracelets made in China or mugs made in the sweat shops of the Far East. We don’t steal ideas and strategies from other organizations, then promote them down to potential sponsors. No, we are not like that – we have a conscience, we have a soul, we have a heart, and, we believe to the very core that every species on planet Earth has a right to survival, and that man does not have a right to destroy and push into extinction any animate life form – for whatever purpose, whether for greed, self-gain, advancement of national or international interests, or whatever. This is our pledge to you, and to all of the Earth’s creatures.
A Vision for the Future: RAPTOR’s vision is a world free of animal abuse, of poaching and wildlife vivisection, or, of any cruelty whatsoever. Education is the best way to achieve this and can be best summed up in Rocky’s Environmental Pledge of Allegiance:
“We the children of the Earth hereby pledge, that we shall preserve our planet and its flora and fauna. We shall let no animal, creature or critter become extinct.
We shall strive to create a world of no waste, neither in the air, the ground nor the sea, a world without greed or exploitation.
We wish to leave a clean Earth with a vast multitude of wildlife and a great bio-diversity for future generations.
We the children of the Earth stand united, under one sky, in one universe, on one Earth. . .”