Poachers in the illegal wildlife trade are killing animals – and their human protectors

One of South Africa’s Best Rhino Defenders Was Murdered in Front of His Family. Justice for Anton Mzimba!

Anton Mzimba dedicated his life to protecting rhinos in South Africa. As one of the head rangers at the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and one of Global Conservation Corps’ advisors, this brave man played a crucial role in protecting rhinos from poachers. But Anton’s inspiring life was tragically cut short this July when three people gunned him down outside of his home, brutally killing him in front of his entire family. The assailants even opened fire on his wife, who is now fighting for her life. Locals, experts, and Anton’s family suspect that his murder was motivated by the illegal wildlife trade, something Anton was dedicated to ending. So far, authorities have not found or arrested the perpetrators — meaning Anton’s family doesn’t have justice, and wildlife rangers across the country may now be at risk of a similar attack.

The illegal wildlife trade preys on iconic, often quite vulnerable species like elephants, tigers, or rhinos, killing these creatures in order to sell their body parts like skins and horns of ivory. This illicit industry is not only notoriously cruel; it threatens the very existence of the species it targets. Those species find safe haven inside national parks and reserves, where heroes like Anton Mzimba protect the animals — at grave risk to their own safety. Finding the perpetrators of this horrific crime is important for defending the wildlife, and it’s also a basic matter of human rights. Anton’s children are now left without a father, likely because of his fierce commitment to protecting the rhinos he loved so much. South Africa must dedicate as many resources as needed to find those who killed Anton. Sign the petition now to tell the South African authorities: we must not delay! Act quickly to find the perpetrators of Anton Mzimba’s brutal murder!

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