On the 24th November, the head of anti-poaching for Lewa and the Northern Rangelands Trust, Edward Ndiritu, received the inaugural Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award from HRH the Duke of Cambridge at the Tusk Awards in London.
Edward, who leads a large team of rangers charged with covering vast areas of northern Kenya, was chosen as the winner from a list of nominees across Africa. The judges state that he stood out for his vigilant leadership, bravery, and inspiring commitment to the protection of wildlife and communities across the northern Kenya landscape.
Prince William was especially proud to present the award to Edward. Leading a team fighting the war against poaching, the award, said the Prince “recognises the extraordinary bravery and commitment of the men and women at the frontline of the battle – and it is a battle – to save some of the world’s most iconic species.”
In 2014, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust brought their anti-poaching operations under one centralised command. This has enabled more effective responses to incidents and better sharing of intelligence. It has also allowed community conservancies to benefit from Lewa’s anti-poaching resources. Edward heads up this centralised command centre, supporting conservancy rangers as well as NRT’s specialised anti-poaching squads.
In Edward’s own words: “I would like to thank my team back at Lewa and the Northern Rangelands Trust for this award. Were it not for them and their bravery, I would not be standing here today. This award is not mine but ours. I would also like to thank my family for their endless support and faith in me. Finally, I would like to thank Tusk Trust and the Duke of Cambridge for creating this award to honour wildlife rangers across Africa.”
Edward also expressed what the award means to him: “Being a ranger is very rewarding but it also has its challenges and is often dangerous. Winning this award gives me tremendous pride and hope, and it is also very humbling. When I made a commitment to become a ranger and protect wildlife as a 23-year-old, I never imagined it would lead me to this. To all rangers across Africa risking their lives daily to protect endangered species, I hope this award motivates you all to know that the world appreciates our work and sacrifices.”