South Africa, 2015
Julia Gunther—Julia Gunther
By Aryn Baker
October 19, 2015

There are only an estimated 28,000 rhinoceroses left in the wild, and about 25,000 them are in South Africa. Yet the country is facing one of the worst rhino poaching epidemics in history, with one killed, on average, every seven hours. Their horns are hacked off, and spirited out of the country through a smuggling network that rivals that of cocaine cartels in sophistication.

Into this wanton slaughter steps an elite team of mostly female rangers who are not only tackling poaching syndicates, but taking on stereotypes. Meet the Black Mambas, one of the most low tech, yet decidedly innovative, anti-poaching units in northern South Africa.

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