Rangers at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park during celebrations earlier today. Photo: Supplied

Various stakeholders braced a chilly day at Golden Gate Highlands National Park, outside Clarens in the eastern Free State to celebrate the annual World Rangers Day. World Rangers’ Day is observed by many nations on the 31st of July each year. It is the day to commemorate the many rangers killed or injured in the line of duty.

Although the event was delayed because of the fire that broke out in the park, and had to be attended by the rangers, it did not deter the mood as rangers know that fire plays a role in the ecology, if it happens as part of a planned activity, therefore it became a celebration when they contained the fire to demonstrate what they are faced with in the environment.

Whilst normal working hours for an average person is eight hours a day, rangers work long hours and sometimes under a lot of pressure to protect the world’s cultural and natural heritage for the enjoyment of the people. They are responsible for the smile on people’s faces when they wake up in the morning by ensuring the survival of little birds that wake people up with cheerful chirping, announcing a brand new day in their lives.

“Our rangers are brave and committed towards the cause, the fire that broke out this morning is a perfect example of what their lives are all about, putting down fires and ensuring that our fauna and flora are protected at all time. They deal with fires, poachers and all sorts of situations on a daily basis. We salute these men and women who stay away from their families for days in order to assist us in our conservation mandate” said the key-note speaker, Mr Lombard Shirindzi, General Manager of the Northern Region Parks.

“We appreciate Moriting wa Thuto secondary school for sending their grade eleven and twelve learners to participate and understand what it means to be a ranger and encourage them to consider this career path which is driven by passion and love for the ecosystem and environment at large” Concluded Shirindzi.

The Honorary Rangers were also in attendance and as a gesture, they handed over some equipment to help make the rangers work and stay in the bush bearable “We know what they go through on a daily basis, and this is just from us to say keep doing the good job that you are doing”

To end off this beautiful celebration, rangers put on a display of a crime scene and also a drill and sealed it by reiterating their commitment by taking their rangers’ pledge.

#Salute Our Rangers