SEAM Special Operations Rangers
As part of efforts to beef up safety and security in the Park, SANParks – Table Mountain National Park
introduced a first of its kind Sea, Air and Mountain (SEAM) Special Operations Ranger Team to the media, funders, Park Forum, representatives from US Fisheries and Wildlife Services, and of course SANParks Honorary Rangers at a pass-out parade.
At its core is the re-established K9 Unit
boasting six new fully-trained dogs and a state-of-the-art spec ops centre. “This group will cover multiple functions which include visitor safety, search and rescue and illicit wildlife crime such as abalone poaching,” explained Table Mountain National Park Manager Frans van Rooyen.
“As a custodian of wildlife and its conservation, we warmly welcome this step as it will provide the much-needed boost to the current team of ranger corps and should be seen as a necessary measure to top-up on our anti-poaching and the fight against crime within the Table Mountain National Park,” beamed SANParks Acting CEO, Dumisani Dlamini.
“We are proud of the newly trained SEAM Special Ranger Team and K9 unit. We would like to wish them well in their operations over the festive season and call upon all the visitors to cooperate with this team for the benefit of everyone,” concluded Dlamini.
The Honorary Rangers were thanked in particular by speakers including the acting CEO for our ongoing support and dedication to Parks and its staff across the country, this initiative being a shining example of how regions came together to make it happen; from sponsoring of the dogs themselves to the refurbishment of kennels and trailer to training of the rangers and in providing the ongoing input that the Unit will rely upon in terms of kennel maintenance, upkeep and interactions with the dogs during their off-service breaks.
Proceeds of the competition will go towards bolstering our vital K9 anti-poaching and environmental crime initiatives in our national parks and marine protected areas.