Every day, at least one rhino is killed by poachers in South Africa. Their horns are worth more than gold on the black market, driving demand for these majestic animals‘ extermination. Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and home to the most significant population of white rhinos in South Africa but is also where the most rhinos are illegally killed. Despite rangers’ increasing capabilities with equipment like drones, night vision, and thermal imaging cameras, poaching continues at an alarming rate.
Vince Barkas has been a wildlife conservationist for over thirty years but believes that the current system is ineffective in protecting rhinos. In 1992 he founded the anti-poaching unit Protrack, which operates in Greater Kruger, including private wildlife reserves bordering the national park. Despite his teams’ use of weapons and force, Barkas has come to believe in dialogue’s power in advocating for change. Joined by his son Dylan, they’ve traveled to Mozambique to engage with the poachers who frequently target the Kruger National Park. Massingir is the village where Vince Barkas first began talking to poachers, and it is where they’ll continue to advocate for change in unsustainable conservation practices that keep the predominantly black communities surrounding game reserves out of the picture.