In a remarkable display of dedication and athleticism, Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers took part in the World Wildlife Ranger Challenge on September 16, 2023, at the picturesque Murchison Falls National Park. The event witnessed rangers carrying a challenging 22-kilogram bag on their backs while embarking on a grueling 21-kilometer run.
The event was officially flagged off by Mr. Sam Mwandha, the Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, who paid heartfelt tribute to the often-unsung heroes of wildlife conservation. Mwandha emphasized the pivotal role that rangers play in safeguarding Uganda’s diverse and precious wildlife.
This ambitious challenge was made possible through the generous support of the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF). Mr. Mike Keigwin, representing UCF, highlighted the critical need to raise funds for wildlife conservation. To participate, each team paid a significant entry fee of $2,000. In a show of solidarity, the Tusk Trust stepped in and matched these contributions, effectively doubling the impact of each team’s participation. As a result, an impressive $20,000 has been raised thus far, with aspirations to raise a total of $100,000.
Teams from renowned national parks such as Queen Elizabeth, Kibale, Kidepo, and the host, Murchison Falls, joined forces with other stakeholders to take part in this awe-inspiring challenge. The competition was fierce, but in the end, it was the dedicated team from Kidepo who emerged as the triumphant winners, showcasing their exceptional endurance and commitment to wildlife conservation.
The event attracted a diverse array of participants, ranging from wildlife enthusiasts and conservation advocates to local communities, all united by a shared passion for preserving Uganda’s natural heritage.
As the world grapples withthe pressing issues of wildlife conservation and biodiversity protection, events like the World Wildlife Ranger Challenge serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of collective action and support for the brave rangers on the front lines of this critical mission.
The event was attended by the Chairperson UCF Board of Trustees Suzy Fox and the Executive Director National Forestry Authority Tom Okello among others.
The funds raised from this event will undoubtedly make a meaningful impact on the preservation of Uganda’s wildlife and ecosystems, reinforcing the message that every contribution, no matter how big or small, plays a part in safeguarding our planet’s natural treasures.