In memoriam - Ngwenya - Mokore - The Tragic Loss

MMAL

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I received this from Mokore Safaris. They approved it being reported here. They ask anyone who would like to help by donating, should email them directly. Gary Duckworth at garyduckworth@mokore.com.



As most are aware we have been heavily involved for the past 16 years building up a wonderful concession Coutada 9 in Mozambique. When we started there it was an area that had been ravaged by 20 years of civil war leaving it with very little wildlife left. This said it was a massive area with lots of potential and each year we have worked extremely hard to bring it back to life with very aggressive anti-poaching efforts combined with opening over a thousand kilometers of new roads and developing surface water for the game through drilling 22 wells and building 12 dams/reservoirs.

This all has been no small feat and Ngwenya who was our bull dozer driver, tractor driver, head of anti-poaching and overall go-to guy was a very big part of the rebuilding process and it is with deep regret to report that he was killed Friday the 9th of February whilst trying to apprehend a group of elephant poachers.

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Coutada 9 has a resident population of about 350-400 elephants and like with all the other wildlife we have fought an uphill battle from day one to protect them. Unfortunately, with elephant poachers there is the added risk in that they are armed normally with an AK-47! Over the years our anti-poaching scouts have had several run ins with these guys and we were determined to catch them. We believe it to be a group of 4 guys who have been responsible for most of the elephant poaching in Coutada 9. With the Coutada being so large (nearly 1 million acres) it has been very difficult to catch up to this group as the normally come in, hit one or two elephants in remote locations, cut the ivory out then retreat for 1-2 months then come back in making it challenging to catch them.

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On Friday 9th February, Ngwenya got information that one of our anti-poaching sticks based up in the north had found fresh tracks of these poachers trailing a wounded elephant. Ngwenya went immediately to our local police station and collected 3 police officers to go with him on the follow up. Unfortunately, due to the distances involved he got onto the tracks fairly late in the day to start following. They caught up to the poachers at last light where they had set up to cook and spend the night. The poachers refused to surrender and a shoot-out ensued. With it being dark it was difficult conditions to see what exactly was going on and unfortunately Ngwenya, who was the brave one at the front, took a bullet through his arm and into his stomach. Whilst he was trying to make it back to the vehicle several miles away he passed away. In the contact they managed to kill one poacher and badly wound another.

Ngwenya’s passing is a massive loss to Mokore, Coutada 9, wildlife conservation and most of all, to his wife and four children. His big smile and determination to really make a difference will be truly missed. We are trying to raise funds for his family to help put his kids through school so please if anyone would like to donate some money towards his family please could you let us know.

He also requested in one of his last messages he saved on his phone that we try and help his wife complete the house they were building.

Donations of any amount would be greatly appreciated by Mokore and obviously, by his wife and children.
A great man, who achieved so much.

RIP Ngwenya.

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Pheroze

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Incredible story of personal sacrifice. Would the DSC fund help with this situation?
 

BRICKBURN

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There is going to be a huge hole in the anti-poaching team

Condolences to his family and friends.
 

cagkt3

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Very sad to hear
 

CAustin

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Condolences to this fine man’s family!
 

LivingTheDream

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Very sad to hear, sorry for your lost and I know he will be missed. Another tragic shame.
 

IdaRam

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Condolences. May his memory inspire others to continue his work.
RIP Ngwenya.
 

edward

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Rob404

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Terrible tragedy RIP
 

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RIP Ngwenya, so sad.
 

sestoppelman

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Very sorry to hear this, RIP.
 

Brent in Az

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Sorry to hear that. A valiant, and hard working man, leaving behind a wife and kids much too early.
 

cpr0312

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Sad to hear! Prayers for the family!
 

RogerHeintzman

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Sorry for your loss of a great man. RIP.
 

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