Mara Elephant Project is proud to announce that ranger Joseph has been honored with the inaugural 2018 African Ranger Award!
The award is the work of Paradise Foundation International and Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, who visited Kenya in 2017 to see firsthand the exceptional work rangers are doing to protect endangered species and ecosystems. When he left, he vowed to find a way to recognize their efforts and in 2018 introduced the African Ranger Award.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma with Tourism CS Najib Balala at Maasai Mara. Courtesy of The Star, Kenya.
The Paradise Foundation International awards this honor to 50 rangers in Africa who have excelled in wildlife protection and is given annually to rangers in Africa who make every effort to combat poaching, habitat loss, and the illegal wildlife trade. It is a prestigious honor that serves to recognize the best of the best within its ranks.
The winners are selected on the basis of the threats and challenges they’ve had to overcome; the impact they’ve made; the commitment and dedication they’ve shown; and the leadership and inspiration they’ve provided during their service. They are selected in recognition of the exceptional passion, commitment and dedication and clearly MEP intelligence ranger Joseph has demonstrated those as a wildlife ranger.
*Please note that any photos used are not of Joseph in order to protect his identity*
Joseph was born in Narok and after dropping out of school due to lack of fees he started working as an informant for rangers by telling them about the illegal killing of wild animals and cattle rustling. After several successful ivory recoveries due to Joseph’s information, MEP employed him starting in 2014 as an intelligence ranger and he has been the most successful intelligence ranger to date.
“Joseph committed himself from a young age to stop poaching, which resulted in many poachers being arrested in his village. Despite threats on his life, he never stopped arresting poachers and doing the right thing.” MEP Tracking Manager Wilson Sairowua
Joseph’s undercover intelligence work has directly led to the recovery of 41 kg of ivory and the arrest of 14 middlemen and dealers. In addition to ivory, Joseph’s intelligence has led to the confiscation of 898 kg of bush meat from 18 poachers, and the recovery of one illegal machine gun. Although Joseph works as part of a team he has exceeded expectation and remains MEP’s lead intelligence ranger.
Just two of the many arrests and confiscations Joseph has been instrumental in.
Joseph has faced many threats while a MEP intelligence ranger. Wildlife criminals, most who have recently been released from jail, often threaten his life; however, with the support of the Kenya Wildlife Service and CID Police, Joseph is able to keep his cover intact and continues to be committed to wildlife conservation against great odds.
*Please note that any photos used are not of Joseph Yiampoi in order to protect his identity*
MEP is very proud of the work Joseph has done over the years and we sincerely believe that he is instrumental in bringing down poaching and wildlife crimes in Narok County, Kenya. Not only will Joseph receive the due recognition he deserves, but he will also be awarded $3,000. Well done Joseph!