This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.
A Zimbabwean anti-poaching force, the Akashinga, has found that women make better rangers than their male counterparts.
Translated as “brave ones”, the Akashinga protect Zimbabwe’s Phundundu Wildlife Area, a 115 square mile former trophy hunting tract that has lost thousands of elephants and other endangered species in the last 20 years. It is thought that women are better suited for the demands of being a ranger as they are less susceptible to bribery and more capable at de-escalating potentially violent situations.
Selection into the Akashinga is modelled on special forces training, subjecting the women to three days of constant testing in the cold and wet, ensuring they maintain the highest performance despite being hungry and tired.
16 women were chosen for last years training programme out of 37 applicants. Only three quit. In comparison, similar male courses with 189 applicants saw all but three quit by the end.