The Critical Path: Why does RAPTOR have so many seemingly disparate focal points and how do they interrelate? The problems that the rhinoceros and other wild animals are facing cannot be dealt with on only one level in the National Parks and Nature Reserves. To only focus on this one segment of the problem is a reactionary knee jerk and is neither pro-active nor intelligent in its approach to the current situation.
Poaching needs an approach that will cut to the root of the speculation and trade of rhinoceros horn and other wildlife products. So, not only do we target the poachers and those involved through tactical solutions, investigation and intelligence but the end market must also be targeted through the lobbying of Far Eastern governments for a total ban on such products, of much tougher laws and sentences in those countries, and, in South Africa. Those individuals that make money out of the deaths of such noble creatures should repay the parks with their ill-gotten gains and they should have their international travel restricted by countries friendly to the anti-poaching cause, i.e., the United States, Great Britain, Europe, Australia and New Zealand for example.
Education and awareness are valuable tools to change a damaging mindset and to instill environmental morals and principles in the younger generations, reducing the potential and reversing the trend of poaching in these youngsters at an early age.
This also helps with our intelligence work and fundraising to enable the organization to continue its work, for example, training rural community members to become environmental officers tasked with the care of flora and fauna in areas around Wildlife Preserves and National Parks. The creation of a wildlife inspectorate will provide teeth to the organization. Public Service Announcements, dissemination of the Rocky book series, puppet shows and environmental workshops, anti-poaching advertisements. These are all necessary steps in the right direction of a poaching free South Africa. . .
The Weave of all these necessary points of focus builds a defensive screen for not only the rhinoceros but all wildlife, this also enables RAPTOR to form and provide a coordinated response. . .
This weave also leads us to one aspect which should be taken into account, the forming of reciprocal links with other organizations that impact upon any or all of the focal areas RAPTOR concentrates on. . .
Reciprocal Links: A very necessary factor in RAPTOR’s successful operation is building a series of reciprocal links with other like minded organizations around the globe and South Africa. Not only does it provide access to data and current trends by the sharing of information, but also of a formulated response to those trends by the combined mass of these organizations, who, at present, seem to act quite independently of one another. RAPTOR will create a data base of these organizations and disseminate information and suggested reaction within the focus of their operational framework. The greater the network of reciprocal links the more effective the response of those organizations within the link network, because of the need to dismantle syndicates back to back, from source to final destination, and, the only way to do this is to work together. . .
Operational Headquarters: RAPTOR’s Operational Headquarters will be based in Johannesburg and is tasked with assembling the necessary certificates, registration documents and SETA qualifications for RAPTOR’s operation. They will also negotiate and form the many reciprocal links between RAPTOR and the organizations around the world creating an interconnectivity that leads to better functioning of all those involved within the network. Headquarters will handle and coordinate Eco-Scouts and various RAPTOR tactical units within Gauteng the North West and all areas further west, east and south; all equipment purchases; will house an investigative, intelligence and forensic department; handle bookkeeping and finances; prepare media releases, coordinate, produce the material, books, cartoons, leaflets et al, and, supply the staff, for the educational workshops and puppet shows; produce PSA’s and documentaries; lobby governments, magistrates etc for the anti-poaching cause; prepare construction plans for its satellite bases; conduct strategic planning; collate databases; prepare the groundwork for awareness campaigns and follow through to completion of the anti-poaching projects; produce anti-poaching advertisement campaigns and much, much more. RAPTOR’s special investigative agents will, with a San tracker, be based at headquarters enabling other areas around South Africa to be reached quickly from the central hub in Johannesburg. Headquarters will coordinate, produce and print all training manuals, translations, scripts, books, leaflets etc. It will also run the anti-poaching hotline. The intelligence section housed in JHB will also collate and gather intelligence from around the world from a Hi-Tech office within the HQ. . .
Phalaborwa Op’s Centre, Training & Education Establishment: RAPTOR’s Training and Education Centre will be based outside of Phalaborwa in a complex in close proximity to Kruger National Park. The centre will house and train Cadets, Eco-Scouts and Scouts from Cadet induction and orientation through to the higher grade courses of Scout first class. Other specialized courses will be outsourced to other schools and training centres. Accommodation will be on site for Cadets, Eco-Scouts and Scouts in special units adjacent to the center. There will also be accommodation for instructors, corporate members and other guests, including rural community members attending environmental workshops and educational game drives in Kruger Park; the aim being to engender them towards nature conservation and preservation of the rhinoceros, other animals and birds. Corporate and other sponsors, depending on the amount they give, will receive a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Membership rating giving them certain benefits.
The centre will also act as the local headquarters for tactical coordination of RAPTOR’s Tactical Units working with Rangers, the Police, Community Police Forums and the Aerial Surveillance Unit. They will also coordinate the various anti-poaching groups in Limpopo and Mpumalanga enabling them to work more efficiently and effectively, being brought under the wings of RAPTOR. Deployment of Eco-Scouts, Scouts and Wildlife Inspectors in this area will also be handled by the Phalaborwa Centre of Operations. The centre will have various other training programs and the necessary infra structure, equipment and animals, one example of this is the assault course, and, it will conduct the second chance programs. . . Specialists in various fields will visit the establishment to give talks and workshops, keeping RAPTOR’s personnel and various rural community members updated with necessary knowledge and skills. . .
Training & Development: a major function of RAPTOR is the training of Environmental Officers to fill a wide variety of tasks related to wildlife conservation and protection. Training and operational manuals will guide the cadets as their studies and training proceeds through to the higher grades of Eco-Scout 3rd, 2nd and 1st class, and, Scout 3rd, 2nd and 1st class. The following grades are Warrant Officer or Wildlife Inspector; Ensign or Field Guide; Lieutenant (Junior Grade) or Ranger (Junior Grade); Lieutenant (Senior Grade) or Ranger (Senior Grade); Lieutenant Commander; Commander; Commander in Chief. . .
Cadets and Eco-Scouts will receive SETA qualifications in security and environmental conservation; higher ranks will proceed through the various grades of Nature Guide and continue to qualification as a fully fledged Game Ranger. Other specialized courses include investigative courses; advanced weaponry courses; martial arts training; survival; first aid; animal husbandry; sniping; tracking; forensics; intelligence; flying; advanced combat tactics; languages including Chinese Mandarin and Vietnamese; target shooting in both handgun and rifle categories. All these courses are designed to enable an individual to become highly qualified and specialize in a particular focus area. Cadets are chosen for training because of their love for the environment, natural habitats and nature. Cadets will mainly be drawn from rural areas around the parks, but, will be deployed in areas other than those of their home villages. Every individual will have the opportunity to reach their full potential with the assistance of mentors.
Training will be conducted by Lt. CDR. Fred-Wade Adams, SIRA registration number: 929998, mainly in the purpose built education and training facility near Phalaborwa which will also serve as the center of operations for the area. Certain facets of the curricula will be outsourced to other institutions, but basic training to provide primary skills will commence at RAPTOR’s own facility.
One very important aspect of RAPTOR’s training program is to engage homeless people that have the potential and a love of nature to become Eco-Scouts and Scouts. Enabling them to become useful and productive members of society and earn a decent living. Another important aspect is the training of all rangers and security personnel in the event of a poacher’s death in the course of their duties, what happens with regards to the law? Do they have legal representation? RAPTOR has to educate them and also facilitate the legal cover with Legal Wise.
Rural Education: A very important aspect of anti-poaching is education in the rural areas around National Parks, Game Reserves and Wildlife Preserves. This is not to say that upper socio-economic areas should be immune to environmental and conservation education, but, the focus should be primarily on the rural areas around preserves and wildlife parks.
Educational workshops will take place on a three tier layer targeting young children, older children and juveniles, and, lastly, young adults and adults.
Aimed at younger audiences RAPTOR will deploy a travelling puppet show called the ‘Rocky Muppet Show’ to rural schools and villages. It will incorporate the characters from the Rocky book series, i.e.; Igola the serval cat; Ndlovu the elephant; Njovu the baby elephant; Kakama the rhino; Mukama, Kakama’s son; Alfred the giraffe; Rocky the Staffordshire; Mugambi, King of the poachers; Impisi the poacher; Vusi the poacher; Mops and Mutsumi the Rangers; Sean the Ranger; Mr. Ztork the stork; a snake; a spider; Wana the wilddog; Ikhanka the wilddogs’ mother; Lenja the father of the wilddogs; Buhle, Wana’s sister, and, a host of other characters used in many different stories narrated by a one eyed African storyteller who speaks nearly every African language. Coupled with this will be the distribution of an anti-poaching story/picture book aimed at these very young children, which can also be used as a bedtime story, or, a simple reader by teachers and parents.
For the older children and teenagers motivational talks accompanied by the Rocky book series (re: www.rockybooks.co.za) given to each school visited will teach environmental conservation and the importance of it, and, how it affects the children and their lives in the future. Each book in the ‘Rocky book series’ leaves a different conservation message, imparting upon the students a comprehensive understanding of nature and its symbiosis and the importance of environmental morals and principles. This all leads to a moral nature compass for the learners. A workbook will be produced so that both teachers and learners can derive maximum benefit from the material. A ‘Rock and Snowy’ cartoon series will also be distributed in a variety of different languages showing the destruction of the poachers, demonizing them, and, portraying the good work of the rangers as they save the wildlife and bring the poachers to book, putting them behind bars.
Young adults and adults will be approached differently as talks will expose the harsher realities of the results of poaching and the effect it has on the surrounding economy.
Part of this talk will concentrate on other ways of generating income in the rural areas. A data base of convicted poachers and their prison terms will bring the harsh reality of poaching to the fore to these rural people. Contrasted to this will be the success stories of rural communities who obey the law and help turn the poachers in and generate Eco-Tourism. Talks about why it is imperative to save this species and others, and, how the Chinese are destroying African heritage will also feature in the education curriculum. Allied to this will be leaflets and cartoon messages distributed in various African languages, and, picture cartoons for those who cannot read.
Game viewing vehicles will be employed taking rural community members into parks to teach them the value of everything they see and the necessity of preserving nature.
To date CDR. Shaun Chapman and Rocky, his Staffordshire bull terrier, have given over 60 talks and presentations in rural and urban schools, teaching conservation morals and principles with well over 5000 books of the Rocky series being distributed. Allied to this are the thousands of one on one presentations preaching nature conservancy and the preservation of all creatures both great and small.
Awareness through the Medium of Print: An important aspect of anti-poaching is the awareness of the general public who can be a great help in not only fingering the poachers, syndicate members and those that derive monetary gain from the hideous act of de-horning rhinos. If everybody in South Africa is aware of the various methods poachers use to obtain these horns; grind them into powder; smuggle them out of South Africa; suddenly come into money; buy or obtain tranquilizers; buy vehicles with blood money, from store clerk to bank teller, to the next door neighbour, from gas pump jockey to jogger, from shoemaker to butcher to baker to candlestick maker, finding these perpetrators will be an easier task. If anything that is suspicious is noted with, for example, a license plate number, catching the poachers will be possible. It is necessary for everyone to do their part. There are potentially over fifty million pairs of eyes covering South Africa.
RAPTOR’s Print media campaign will take the form of a series of advertisements with various catch phrases to tweak the conscience of as many people as possible. The advertisements will appear in magazines with as many different target markets as possible. Further to this, international magazines must be targeted in the U.S., Great Britain and Europe, with the added component of media coverage in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia and other Far Eastern countries.
Some of the advertisements or advertorials will be more graphic in portraying what happens to the rhinos that fall under the sights of the poachers. They will also include messages that refute the medicinal properties of rhino horn and the effect of the pesticides and dye injected into them, and, in the case of the lions from the Kruger, tuberculosis that has been transmitted from the cattle in Mozambique, and how, when these products are consumed, the disease is also transmitted. Another part of the media campaign is to promulgate and convince reserves to inject the pesticides into all rhino horn, rendering them valueless in the market place.
Website & E-Magazine: RAPTOR’s website will not only contain information on RAPTOR’s projects and the progress of RAPTOR, but, will also contain information on convicted poachers and syndicate members, what steps can be taken to negate poaching in your area, a donation facility and an E-magazine which will keep the readers updated on poaching activity and trends, and, how you can personally become involved in stemming the tide of these hideous acts of barbarism. The E-magazine will not only focus on the rhinoceros, but, have another section that covers worldwide poaching trends and the wildlife involved, where the culprits originate from and what steps and activism should be taken to stop their nefarious trade. In addition there will be many more related articles.
Awareness through Film and Television: Getting the concept of preservation ingrained into the psyche of humanity is no easy task, but, with the help of visual media in the form of Film and Television it is an achievable goal. RAPTOR will focus on a documentary series on poaching and the effects it has on a dwindling population of rhinos and the extinction of other species caused by the Far Eastern traditional medicine trade.
Initiatives planned include:
- A computer animated film, aimed at younger viewers, or, those young at heart, with strong environmental morals but in a digestible format.
- A reality show that covers the efforts of RAPTOR to tackle the poachers, syndicates and end users of powdered rhino horn, incorporating investigation, intelligence and tactical strategies formulated to bring the perpetrators to book.
- A fictional TV series about the creation and operation of RAPTOR revolving around the main characters and their attempts to stem the trade of death washing over the remnants of a millennia age species, whose only act for the recompense they receive is to be born with two horns lusted after by Chinese and Vietnamese nationals in a frenzy of bloodletting.
The documentary, reality show and fictional series can be aired both in South Africa and internationally on TV channels worldwide. This will provide a powerful indictment and statement directed at the poachers and a moral compass for others.
These films must be of a very high professional standard in order to achieve the desired goals.
Public Service Announcements: Crucial to the success of RAPTOR’s strategy is a series of Public Service Announcements targeted at both adults and children on their respective levels of understanding. These PSA’s will be translated, or have subtitles, in a variety of languages, enabling them to reach the desired effect. The adult targeted PSA’s will be strong and informative and filmed in much the same way Charlize Theron’s infomercial on rape was.
The other conservation PSA’s targeted at the younger generations will take the form of a Rocky Muppet Show with characters from the book series promulgating environmental conservation and the saving of the rhinoceros from extinction. The other PSA’s would take the form of animated cartoons created with computer animation.
All of these PSA’s will contain strong underlying messages, the main one being that we should all get involved in saving the species’ from extinction and further to that, the preservation of all South Africa’s flora and fauna.
There will be two prime time PSA’s, one will be visually softer and more palatable for younger generations, the other, a more graphic black and white harsh, dark and ominous piece with a tough message pulling no punches.
The other PSA’s will take the form of radio announcements with an African flavor and broadcast in different languages and culturally different radio stations covering the airwaves with this important message...
Rhino Cycle Challenges, Team Raptor, KID’S COP Environmental and Conservation Campaign, and Fund Raising: ‘KID’S COP’, the climate and environmental convention, and, the ‘Rhino Challenge’ and ‘The Rhino Challenge Tour of South Africa’, will not only raise a tremendous amount of awareness for our anti-poaching campaign through TV and print media coverage, but, will promote better conservation through discussions at the KID’S COP and the final conclusions as to how humankind can move forward, because, in the end, they will inherit the mess present adults have created. KID’S COP is a vehicle for lobbying and applying environmental conservation pressure to governments, politicians and industry, due in large part to the overall interconnectivity of environmental and climate degradation and how they relate to poaching and the general maltreatment of flora and fauna worldwide.
The cycle challenges will derive much media coverage and public awareness, but also, generate income with entry fees for RAPTOR’s projects. They also have the potential to provide a focal point of discourse and activism on the part of the many organizations fighting to stop the rhinoceros from being slaughtered and pushed into extinction. Fund raising through the sale of bracelets and necklaces at shopping centers, markets and various outlets at R50 and R100 respectively with the beads denoting various animals is one of the other ways we will use to raise funds. The lion, now under threat by the Chinese will be represented by a gold bead.
Awareness and Fundraising through the Arts: Another important factor of fundraising and awareness is the utilization of the arts and in particular mime and artistic interpretation of dance and theatre. Through these art forms the anti-poaching and conservation messages will be cast into the limelight, raising awareness and funds for RAPTOR’s projects.
The shows will start in South Africa but will go much further afield as the show will travel to New York, Washington D.C., London, Paris and Berlin in Europe and the United States.
Being mime and dance theatre with the universal language of music the show can be understood anywhere in the world, crossing the barriers of language, race and culture. A visual documentary will be shown during each show illustrating what happens to the rhinoceros, how it dies and how its horn is ground into powder and ending up as an aphrodisiac in the Far East, which will be presented at the end of each show. The show will also be taken to Vietnam and China when funds are available to teach invaluable lessons to those nations who are powering the rhinoceros’s extinction.
Experienced mime artist John Jacobs will coordinate and appear in the show. Mr. Jacobs trained in France under the famous Marcel Marceau. A small modern dance company will complete the ensemble and be under the direction.
Lobbying: Chinese and Vietnamese lawmakers, magistrates and judges must be made aware of the problems rhino and other animals are facing. By producing reports in Chinese and other languages, and, bringing these functionaries to South Africa to see the problems first hand, change can be effected. RAPTOR will lobby these functionaries to impose harsher penalties upon those trafficking in wildlife products, and, the curtailing of travel permits of those involved in poaching and the production of herbal medicine from animal products. This lobbying will be supplemented by printed matter and a hard hitting documentary on rhino poaching and wildlife destruction.
Another aspect of lobbying is liaising with the U.S., Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, and other government immigration departments to ban and restrict the movements of individuals involved in, and, deriving profit from rhino horn and other wildlife products. This lobbying will also extend to restrictions on imports of hunting trophies and those that import them in as many countries as possible. RAPTOR will produce reports and documents supporting a cessation of hunting and the illegality of exporting such products to the countries in question.
We will also lobby neighbouring countries such as Mozambique, and maintain reciprocal links with organizations there, in an effort that the discourse will lead to problem solving strategies.
One of the aspects of lobbying is to mobilize people on social networking sites such as Facebook to boycott products from countries not adhering to, and, neglecting, animal rights and abusing wildlife products.
Tactical Operations: RAPTOR has many diverse tactical solutions, ranging from the deployment of Eco-Scouts around National Parks, Game Parks and Reserves to form a barrier, stationed at villages in the area. The Eco-Scouts, forming an interlocking grid, will remove traps and snares found in the bush in the area under their supervision. They will also monitor people’s movements, noting people and vehicles, 4x4’s and quadbikes that are not normally in the area, suspicious noises during the night, suspicious people, helicopters et al. Eco-Scouts on bicycles will patrol their allotted areas picking up intelligence from children and adults, building respect and trust in the communities in which they work, rewarding children with appetizers to further intelligence gathering and uncovering those involved in poaching.
RAPTOR’s Wildlife Inspectors will not only work directly with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to monitor hunts to ensure correct procedures are followed, but, they will also collect data and intelligence from the Eco-Scouts and ensure they are working to the best of their abilities.
The elite anti-poaching Tactical Teams deployed by RAPTOR will respond not only to emergency callouts, they will track and interdict poachers in the bush, work with Eco-Scouts and RAPTOR’s investigation teams to target and hunt down poachers and syndicates. Another angle will be predictive interception and response to interdict the poachers, with an interpretative analysis of intelligence from a variety of different sources. Since the majority of poaching takes place during full moon at night this denotes a certain profile of poacher, and, gives those hunting them a heads up of when and where they should pool resources to combat the poachers. Wildlife security officers in 4x4’s will also patrol back roads in areas under the threat of poachers, providing security when needed.
Tactical Op’s will also employ reciprocal links with other anti-poaching units, bringing them under the wings of RAPTOR, so to speak, thus formulating defined strategies to cope with poachers and syndicates alike. San Bushman trackers will be employed to work with RAPTOR’s Tactical Units. . .
The Team will also nurture a Mozambique unit of Eco-Scouts/Wildlife Inspectors to operate on the border of the Kruger Park working in conjunction with their South African counterparts. The unit in Mozambique must have real law enforcement teeth, and be a registered security provider/law enforcement agency with many reciprocal links related to like organizations.
One of RAPTOR’s tasks will be to coordinate and run an aerial surveillance wing, incorporating a community aerial unit run by Lt. CDR. Englebrecht, utilizing micro-lights. The aerial wing will operate a Bell Jetranger and fixed wing Cessna in conjunction with the community aircraft.
Investigative Operations: Investigative protocol of RAPTOR will follow guidelines and operational procedure set by criminal investigation units such as NCIS and the FBI. Billy Verster a senior ‘crack’ investigator and ex-police officer will lay the guidelines and set the section up with the assistance of Tony Vedda, an IT specialist, from software, hardware and tutorage of RAPTOR’s investigative team.
The team will range from experienced investigators to Rangers, San trackers and members with investigative potential prepared to undergo further training and courses ranging from tactical, investigative, forensics and more, given by experienced experts in the relevant fields from the FBI, SA Police, NCIS, et al. Retired and currently serving members, as well as experienced anti-poaching instructors, will assist in the team training. The Team will set up the necessary reciprocal links with organizations such as Interpol, the Chinese Police Force and others to further enhance the unit’s capabilities.
One investigative team will work from the Operational Training and forward base near Phalaborwa while the other will be based in Johannesburg to cover investigations in the Gauteng area, the North West region, and, in provinces further south, east and west. Various members of the SAPS will also assist in the investigations.
An important part of the team’s success will be that of rapid response and mobility to get to the crime scene as quickly as possible. One of the ways the unit will have an advantage over other investigative units will be the assistance of retired FBI officers spending time with RAPTOR’s criminal investigative section. . .
Intelligence Operations: Creating reciprocal links with other intelligence gathering organizations such as ‘E-Block Rhino Watch’ is an important part of intelligence operations for RAPTOR. These links will be created worldwide so a better overall picture is created of the poaching and markets of all animals, and, any new trends that crop up, allowing for better planning. This will also show how animal products relate to other criminal activities.
The intelligence section will culture informants through the Eco-Scouts to obtain needed information about poachers, buyers and facilitators. They will use a system of rewards such as bicycles, footballs, cellphones etc, for smaller informants. They will also incept a system whereby the poachers themselves will be offered rewards for turning in buyers upon indictment. Intelligence will also conduct undercover operations and their own intelligence gathering, profiling poachers/syndicates/rangers/relatives, conducting background checks and liaising with cellphone companies, banks etc.
Profiling Chinese and Vietnamese tourists, checking criminal databases in the Far East, South Africa and their country of origin, they will cross reference to check out hunting concessions of particular animals and liaise with the relevant police force to root out criminals. The intelligence section will piece together a criminal data base of poachers and syndicates and those assisting international poaching operations, in order to red flag them when crossing borders. One of its duties will be to find out places of distribution of these poached animal products, in the Far East specifically.
Intelligence will be tasked with gathering information to form a clear picture of what is done to the horns and how they are smuggled into the Far East for distribution.
One of the Hi-Tech methods they will utilize will be micro-chip recognition equipment that will scan and record any chips in its vicinity. This also leads to the micro-chipping of all South African horns. Other Hi-Tech surveillance equipment and services such as satellite data from international agencies willing to assist our anti-poaching cause will be used in an attempt to catch poachers in the act.
The Intel section will be responsible for passing information on to Parks and Reserves where needed, also, ways in which the horns can be made valueless in the marketplace.
One of the intelligence section’s focal points will be to collate anti-poaching data, and the efforts so far undertaken, so we may formulate more effective strategies and tactics against the poachers and syndicates, pitching them to all concerned parties.
Psychological Operations or ‘Psyops’: Another important element in RAPTOR’s fight against poaching is its psychological operations. Psyops will conduct operations in both South Africa, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. South African operations will utilize various methods to undermine poachers, syndicates and individual’s efforts to obtain rhino horn and other animal products. One route will be getting traditional healers and African prophets like Credo Mutwa to extol the virtues of keeping the wildlife alive instead of displeasing the ancestors and ≠Gao!na, the Great Father, by destroying an important part of African heritage.
These animals are sacred beasts in traditional lore and great harm will befall those that kill them, especially if they assist foreigners in taking their bodies and spirits to a foreign land. . .Traditional leaders such as Credo can act as figureheads to convince rural people to turn poachers in. . . In the Far East a different tack will be taken as we will dehumanize and belittle those that use the products from African wildlife, and, bring to the fore the fact that lion bones and marrow from the Kruger transmit tuberculosis which has been transmitted to the Kruger from Mozambique cattle. Most lions in Kruger have a shortened lifespan because of this disease, and, if these animal products are ingested it is then transmitted to the humans using the products. Other tactics could be applied to frighten those using these products (for example: create a fictional disease?).
Various other arguments explaining forcefully why it is unhealthy to take rhino powder and how it does not fight cancer, this, coupled with scientific data presented in an absorbable format using leaflets, advertising posters and TV PSA’s, i.e., “Using rhino horn doesn’t make you a man, it makes you inhuman and evil,” as does speculating with such products. This campaign has to be broadened to cover other areas of the developed world where the funds to drive this poaching are originating from.
RAPTOR Psyops will utilize everything at its disposal to discourage and stop poaching, speculating by buying and selling, and, using the products in the Far East. How dyes and pesticides are being injected into rhinoceros horn which will make those using the powder very ill.
RAPTOR will use superstition to unnerve the users of animal products from Africa in the Far East, playing on their fears and weaknesses.
An analysis of other strategies utilized in other campaigns, political or otherwise, will be made, modified and adopted.
Forensics: A small forensic team headed by Dr D J Klatzow will utilize outside analytical services and function from a small forensic laboratory at Headquarters. The team will consist of an away team made up of three members, Dr D J Klatzow, one other qualified forensic specialist and an assistant, to respond quickly in conjunction with the investigative team. The laboratory will consist of modern Hi-Tech equipment to record and analyze data collected onsite and the revisiting of previous crime scene material to correlate and try to find common denominators and patterns between rhino murders.
This will expose serial patterns and the modis operandi that poachers use repetitively, thus enabling the investigating and tactical teams to devise interdiction strategies. Another way is to link the DNA from murdered rhinos with that of rhino horn found, whether in SA, China or Vietnam, since this is a stolen product links should be formed so that wherever the horn is found those in possession of it should be prosecuted. Forensic techniques will be patterned on those of the FBI and NCIS as closely as possible, budgets permitting.
A future necessity will be the collecting of biopsies from the rhino killed so cell lines and genotyping may be developed and preserved for a future gene pool cloning. . .
Mission, Goals, Objectives and Desired Outcomes: RAPTOR’s mission is to curtail the poaching of rhino and other endangered species in South Africa and the world at large; to form a complete picture of wildlife abuse, including poaching and the sale of products and parts from these animals; to uncover the nodes through which these products pass; to create awareness so as to mobilize the entire nation of South Africa and other nations to fight this destruction of flora and fauna; to train and create employment in nature conservation for underprivileged rural community members and impoverished South African citizens; to educate rural communities on the value of nature and the wildlife that inhabit it; to expose syndicates and place the poachers behind bars; to create a barrier around National Parks and Game Reserves with both RAPTOR’s Environmental Officers and rural communities to prevent the free passing of poachers and syndicate members; to preach the message of conservation to both young and old, imparting environmental morals and principles to rural communities; to deploy an effective force of nature scouts and tactical wildlife response teams to tackle poachers; to empower our members through education, instilling in them the need to preserve our ecology; to build a training establishment and headquarters that enables RAPTOR to fulfill its various functions; to provide air support that will hunt down the poachers; to build effective investigative and intelligence units; to create awareness that will put pressure upon poachers and syndicates, create far reaching campaigns that will stem the tide of greed and wont; to get governments to respond harshly to the perpetrators; to stop poaching for good.
RAPTOR is a nonprofit anti-poaching organization intent on stemming the tide of poaching in South Africa, in particular rhino poaching, and, focusing on poaching primarily in the Phalaborwa districts initially. It has a rank structure as follows: Cadet; Eco-Scout; Scout; W/O; Field Guide; Lieutenant (JG), or Ranger (JG); Lieutenant (SG), or Ranger (SG); Lt Commander; Commander. The general uniform will comprise of one set of RAPTOR olive green epaulettes, one set of RAPTOR black epaulettes with rank indicated and RAPTOR logo embroidered, one green Shemagh, long and short sleeve green bush shirts with button down epaulettes and two button down breast pockets, green T-shirt, khaki ball cap with gold embroidered RAPTOR logo, long khaki bush shorts or pants, high suede desert boots, one UK military olive green sweater with epaulettes, one UK military black sweater with epaulettes, one green pile jacket, one green rain jacket, long wool khaki socks, optional pair of brown leather waterproof hiking boots. Bush uniform for the Eco-Scouts on mountain bikes shall be, short sleeved khaki bush shirt, green sweater, pile top, green rain jacket, long khaki bush shorts, khaki socks, suede all-terrain bush/running shoes, khaki bush cap with logo, olive green epaulettes and nametag. Uniform for the interdiction team at night shall be a black SWAT flight suit with black boots and black armored vest with ‘Raptor’ on the back, for day, multi-cam pants, jacket or shirt, coyote or multi-cam colored vest and webbing. RAPTOR utilizes a wide variety of strategies to combat and restrict poaching activities.
With a fleet of 11 4x4 vehicles, including pick-ups, double cabs, an armoured Hummer, one Jeep 4-door and a two door, a mini bus, a game viewing vehicle and two trailers, RAPTOR, will, amongst all its other duties, provide travelling environmental conservation and anti-poaching workshops that will distribute books and literature to rural areas. The workshops will include puppet shows for the children in these areas, which, not only provide entertainment, but have a strong anti-poaching message utilizing the characters in the ‘Rocky’ book series which shall be akin to the old Punch and Judy puppet shows. The characters shall include: Mukama the rhino and Kakama, his father; Njovu the little female elephant and Ndlovu her father; evil poachers and their Chinese buyers; Rocky the Staffordshire and his friend Igola the serval cat; Hubesi the lion and his comrades Sato and Njoka, not forgetting of course, Rocky’s human father Sean, and Bo, his San Bushman friend, /Qui and /Gao, and, Shogi, a wise old female wilddog.
Each rural school will receive the ‘Rocky’ book series; each book in the series has a strong anti-poaching message and teaches environmental conservation. These will be accompanied by a workbook. The Headmen and local elders will be drawn into these workshops, so that the point of conserving nature and wildlife is impressed upon them. They will be encouraged to provide present and future intelligence on any poaching activity in their areas. The workshops will also serve as a platform to recruit Eco-Scouts.
RAPTOR will operate from a head office in Johannesburg and a satellite tactical operations center and educational training establishment with accommodation based within or near a game reserve adjacent to Kruger Park. The office in Johannesburg will coordinate tactical operations in other places around South Africa, for example the North West region and the canned Rhino hunting that is taking place there. It will be responsible for all the education material and the production of it.
The dissemination of intelligence and the lobbying of governments i.e, China, the U.S, the U.K and Europe, Australia and New Zealand, for, amongst other things, the restriction of travel by suspects and people involved in the illegal trade in rhino horn and elephant tusks. We will lobby for harsher penalties in China for the possession of rhino horn and elephant tusks, or, powdered horn, for use in Chinese herbal medicine. The Johannesburg office will also liaise with various consulates and governments to identify poachers; syndicates and their members; how the horn is transported overseas, and, under what pretence the horn travels under, especially horn taken by supposed trophy hunters; how and why a hunting concession is given. We will also lobby for the ban of trophy hunting and the transport of it to those countries where horn is used in herbal products. By identifying the people involved we will lobby consulates and other governments to restrict travel by those individuals to and from these and other countries.
The JHB office will also be responsible for annual and monthly reports, financial and otherwise, including the status and tactics of syndicates’ modis operandi and all other intelligence on poaching in South Africa. This will enable RAPTOR to make informed decisions on tactics and pass on information to the relevant authorities whether local or overseas. RAPTOR will have its own bookkeeper and auditing will be done by Philip Woodhouse (Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone no: 011-5629700).
The office in JHB will also be responsible for media liaison and production of an anti-poaching media campaign, which is, as follows:
(1) A fictionalized TV series, akin to CSI, on the activities of RAPTOR and its fight against poaching.
(2) A reality TV series, the real life adventures of the team and the organization – ‘R.A.P.T.O.R’
(3) A series of short animated Public Service Announcements on conservation and anti-poaching, and, the use of such products, in several different languages.
(4) An animation of feature film length on Rocky and the characters in his book series with a very strong anti-poaching message.
(5) Media in print and billboards, advertisements, books, cartoon books, pamphlets and leaflets; visual media such as TV and film; all in a variety of African languages, English and Chinese. This will be used to cultivate an awareness, swaying opinion to institute stronger laws and penalties, generating more intelligence which can be used against the poachers and syndicates, and eventually, stop the use of rhino horn products, such as powdered horn in Chinese herbal medicines. The use of mediums such as these will build sentiments against users of these products and the poachers and syndicates that obtain them.
The travelling educational workshops and education material with the puppet shows will also be based at the JHB office as will all the marketing and drive to obtain associate members; fund raising coordination and getting the public involved in anti-poaching work. The office will maintain a tracker and have at its disposal a small anti-poaching team responsible for Gauteng, the North West and surrounding areas. This team will also serve as an outreach team to liaise with other anti-poaching organizations throughout South Africa including E-Block watch, to gather intelligence. The office will be responsible for the anti-poaching messages to the Chinese government, one that supposed Chinese hunters are not killing for trophies, but, for the horn, as hunting is being used as a cover. Regular reports, in Chinese, will be sent through to them, so they may be kept updated.
RAPTOR will use the latest surveillance technology from the United States, including cameras and chip recognition equipment, plus state of the art forensic equipment to type cast and profile poachers. This will enable RAPTOR to build files and cases against perpetrators, suspects and syndicates, and, their modis operandi. We will also use the poachers’ cellphones by liaising with cell providers in an effort to place culprits at the scene of the crime or interdict them. We will not only be using modern technology, but, good old fashioned tracking by San trackers to hunt the hunters. . .
The other base of operations will be located on a reserve in the Phalaborwa region, an educational facility with a lodge and accommodation for Cadets and Eco-Scouts etc. where they will be taught bush skills and tracking. Fred-Wade Adams, an ex-para and trained by the South African Special Forces, as head of training, has a security training base and secured a special forces training area in which to train the Eco-Scouts.
When qualified, these individuals from rural communities will return to act as environmental officers, collecting intelligence on poaching activity and destroying snares and traps. When necessary, they shall alert RAPTOR of criminal poaching activity that needs to be handled by the interdiction unit. Bushman trackers operating with an elite RAPTOR force made up of community police, Rangers and other well qualified and authorized personnel, will then interdict the poachers, arresting them and handing them over to the justice system of South Africa.
The RAPTOR force’s other duties shall include: bush patrols, actively seeking poachers, liaising with the rural communities, acting on any and all information on poaching, destruction of traps and snares, disrupting as much poaching activity as possible, monitoring the movements of poachers and building profiles on them. This combined force will utilize forensic science, as first on scene, modern surveillance equipment and techniques such as liaising with cellphone companies, to identify and track nefarious individuals. Profiles and data will be collated to build up case and perpetrator profiles. Their mission profile will include the monitoring of canned rhino hunting and hunting used as a pretext to avoid customs regulations, i.e, legalized poaching through hunting concessions given to farmers and hunters alike by government functionaries and used by syndicates.
When necessary, RAPTOR will be assisted by volunteer pilots and their aircraft to find poachers in a coordinated effort with ground forces and rangers. RAPTOR will have its own helicopter with night vision to further increase its effectiveness, and, a light aircraft to afford rapid transit of personnel and surveilance. To further enhance the effectiveness of tactical team members, they will all undergo continual updates through training and tactics. All members of the organization shall have the opportunity to better themselves through training and education in courses related to nature conservation and their particular specialization.
The Training Establishment will also have accommodation available for members, instructors, trainees, sponsors and visitors. This will add another positive dimension to the training of Field Guides and Eco-Scouts alike. The education facility will also have a computer room, further enhancing each trainee’s abilities. Horses, three quad-bikes and mountain bikes will not only enable Raptors, Trackers and Eco-Scouts to cover more ground, and, add to their accomplishments in the form of skill and physical training, but, create an esprit de corp and act as a teambuilding catalyst.
Once qualified, the Eco-Scouts will each be given a mountain bike so they may cover a greater area in their rural communities. A Field Officer will liaise and be in constant contact with them and will collate the data collected by the Eco-Scouts. Eco-Scouts, acting as environmental protection and security officers, will destroy snares and traps, collecting them, make a note of where they were, source information on poaching activity, teach others the value of flora and fauna, organize cleanups in their areas of trash and other waste etc. Field Officers will also coordinate the travelling workshops and puppet shows in their areas. Incentives will be given to the most effective Eco-Scouts and individuals who pass on vital information that can be used to stop and control poaching activity.
RAPTOR’s core members and those in charge of the different sections are, as follows:
Commander Shaun Chapman (RAPTOR), Chairman and Commander in Chief, is an environmental author and the founder of the organization. He has a wide and varied list of accomplishments and abilities. Shaun has given over 60 environmental talks at rural and urban schools, he has produced the Rocky book series to teach conservation and preservation of both flora and fauna, he is the author of many other books as well, including ‘Chapman’s African Tales’, and will soon be well represented on www.amazon.com. Shaun’s 2010 theory of ‘Alternating Crustal Displacement and the Torque Wrench Effect’ is featured on www.thebigearthquake.com, this came about from research for ‘Rocky and the Origins of Man’ and how man, through his use of fossil fuels, has caused a shift in mass upon the Earth’s surface and created an increase in the angular momentum of the tectonic plates in equatorial regions. Other books and film scripts can be found on www.shaunchapmanbooks.com and www.rockybooks.co.za. He has worked with both North West Parks board and Botswana Parks, has taught martial arts and combat skills to military personnel. Has studied both Anthropology and Psychology, Pure and Applied Mathematics. He enjoys flying both fixed and rotary winged aircraft, cycling, running and swimming, and has competed in the Quadrathon and many cycle competitions. His love of nature and wildlife lead him to the foundation of RAPTOR. He is a very concerned environmentalist and conservationist and wants desperately to bring change to the way man treats both the Earth and its multitude of living organisms.
Lt. Commander Eugene Engelbrecht (RAPTOR), will be in charge of tactical operations in the Phalaborwa region. At age 49 he runs a security business in Phalaborwa and surrounding areas. His clients include some of the larger mines in the region. He is very involved in anti-poaching work and has been working with the police and Kruger Park in bringing poachers to book. Being skilled in anti-poaching he is the founder of a community policing anti-poaching initiative, having formed a network using aerial surveillance, micro-lights and light aircraft, to find poachers. This has been a successful joint effort with the Police and Rangers, but he realizes with more coordinated action, manpower and aircraft, the success will be far greater especially when combined with RAPTOR.
Lt. Commander Fred-Wade Adams (RAPTOR), began his career in 1, 2 and 3 Para, falling under 44 Parachute Brigade. Lt. CDR. Adams then went to 1 Recon Unit at Duku-Vuku for Special Forces selection. As a security specialist and owner of Ye-Sizwe security, Fred has trained special military and police units for a period of 12 years. He also provides close security protection for VIP’s and runs an investigation unit as part of his security operations, and, will be in charge of training for Eco-Scouts, Field Guides and the RAPTOR Reaction team.
Lieutenant France Mashilo (RAPTOR), is a business school graduate and Vice Chairman of the organization, age 26, and, will coordinate on a managerial level, the many various and diverse aspects needed to make a success of the anti-poaching campaign and the organization’s objectives. France also runs a non-profit goodwill organization to bring x-mas cheer to the elderly and other unfortunate souls, bringing a ray of light into their lives.
Lieutenant Thabo Rathaba (RAPTOR), organization Secretary with a security background, will head up the education outreach programs and the travelling workshops and puppet shows. Thabo, a married man of 36 has been in the security business since he left school. He is an expert marksman in both handgun and rifle. He also has a keen interest in writing and education.
Member Chris Stevens, is an IT specialist and the owner of Fullhouse Archive which handles over 600 different websites; he has been in the IT business for most of his working life. Chris is over 50 years of age and is a skilled negotiator, he will liaise and coordinate with E-Blockwatch and other organizations and will be tasked with building the database and intelligence on poachers and syndicates. He will also service the website and coordinate the E-Magazine.
Member Peter Mashilo, at 49 years of age has been a member of the African National Congress since his early school years, and, run many ANC social programs, by profession and trade he is a very experienced and qualified watchmaker, but gets much satisfaction and pleasure from the community projects he gets involved with and takes pride in. Peter lives in Alexandra and tries his best to uplift the community there and in his home province of Limpopo through programs created by himself and others. He feels that the only way for people to progress is through good quality education and training, and, that we should respect the environment and the flora and fauna that inhabit it. He feels very strongly about the injustice man is perpetrating upon the rhinoceros and other species extant in South Africa.
Member Dumisani Phakathi, is a film producer and director with exceptional abilities, he studied at the Johannesburg film school and has gone from strength to strength, surpassing all others in his class with his creative abilities and eye for a good project when he sees it. He has worked with the SABC and E-TV on some of South Africa’s notable series, and, branched out to commercials, PSA’s and documentaries. Always a team player, he is well respected in the industry.
RAPTOR will maintain a mix of regular employees, members or associate members, who will either donate money, time or skills to the organization and its goal, that of a poaching free South Africa. . .
How do we see the future of RAPTOR? We envision Eco-Scouts and RAPTOR centres around South Africa where they will best serve and protect wildlife’ we see governments and justice systems around the Earth taking the initiative and instituting severe penalties on poachers and traffickers in wildlife and animal body parts; we see RAPTOR spreading far and wide, being a solution to this problem.
In conclusion, this is our vision, one that we hope you will share and make a reality, and, become involved, whether financially supportive or active participant. How long can the rhino continue to exist on Earth, let alone any species, when it is being hunted to extinction by eco-terrorists, inhuman people armed with AK-47’s and RPG’s? The bullets, snares, traps and poison poachers use cause untold suffering across a broad spectrum of wildlife Please help us make a difference and stop this slaughter.