Many of you will already know, I’m sure, of the death of the South African Timbavati ranger Anton Mzimba.
Head of Ranger Services at South Africa’s Timbavati Game Reserve, Mzimba was targeted – it is assumed by poachers – outside his home on July 26th. His wife was also shot, but is, I believe, thankfully out of danger. His children escaped unhurt.
I never knew Mzimba and was unaware, therefore, of his reputation for being what a statement released by Timbavati described as a ‘rhino warrior’ and ‘a true legend’: ‘there was,’ it adds, ‘no greater man.’ Being a ranger among rangers, however, is exactly, it seems, how he preferred to be seen. According to the same tribute, Mzimba saw all rangers as heroes. It goes on to describe an ‘exceptionally passionate, courageous, and spiritual man’, one who’s impact ‘not only within the wildlife space, but also touching the lives of, and inspiring young children, has been simply enormous’. It ends with the following:
It may be a dark time now, but we will ensure that Anton’s legacy lives on in all of us whose lives he touched. We will continue to cultivate the unyielding passion he showed to reconnect the young of the surrounding communities to wildlife to ensure that they too become guardians of their heritage. Today is a heartbreaking reminder of the huge challenges our wildlife protectors face and just how incredibly important it is to continue to support them in every way we can.
We share our condolences to all those who have had the pleasure of walking alongside Anton. Those who have followed his journey, his footsteps, his passions.
We thank Anton for giving of his life and love to the wildlife and people of the Timbavati. He will be profoundly missed but never forgotten.
An Anton Mzimba Family Support & Legacy Fund has been set up. If you can, please do support it.