About the Campaign
|Known throughout Murchison Falls and Uganda as the “Leopard”, Sgt. Odar was considered one of the finest and most dedicated rangers in all of the region and perhaps Africa.
This loss is indicative of a greater need for support for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and its wildlife rangers.
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These dedicated men and women do everything from anti-poaching patrols and law enforcement to aiding snared/injured wildlife, to appearing in court to secure prosecutions of wildlife criminals and rescuing community members and tourists throughout the park. The nearly 200 rangers in Murchison Falls share only 3 vehicles to accomplish all of these tasks, one which is primarily used in delivering supplies to each of the ranger posts and another having over 500,000 miles on its odometer (900,000 km). The vehicle Sgt. Odar was riding in lacked seating for all of the rangers it was transporting, which is what contributed to him falling off the back; he survived an encounter with poachers twice that night only to perish for want of a seat.
Poachers do not quarantine. In this time of global pandemic, the brave men and women who protect these wild places are under increased pressure both financially from loss of funding, and operationally since they have seen an increase in poaching and wildlife crime as a result of the economic downturn. The human pandemic is taking a wildlife toll and we are asking more and more from the people standing on the frontlines.
With courthouses 100 kilometers away, each time a ranger must appear in court to help secure a conviction of a poacher, it ties up a vehicle for nearly the entire day. Since each vehicle has seen many, many miles/kilometers of action over its lifetime, there is often one in some stage of repair, further limiting rangers’ ability to protect the region and do their job. We must take action to help these brave men and women and make their lives a little easier and safer.
Thanks to a generous donor, the International Elephant Foundation has secured more than two-thirds towards the purchase and necessary field modifications of a brand-new Toyota Land Cruiser, the vehicle of choice. We need $15,000 more to make this a reality. Rangers should not have to hike to locations where poachers are reported, or choose whether to provide veterinary care to a snared lion or conduct patrols. They should have reliable vehicles that will safely help them do their jobs. We owe it to them.
Mike Keigwin MBE, Founder Trustee of UCF remembered Sgt. Odar saying, “I have patrolled hundreds of kilometres with Albert, and never did he back off a challenge or danger. His trust in his fellow rangers, and love for and knowledge of the park was beyond belief. We will miss him terribly, and will attempt to live up to his high standards.”
We should all live up to Sgt. Odar’s high standards. Please donate to help IEF get UWA a new vehicle.