JOHANNESBURG (AP) – A group of American military veterans with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan plans to train rangers in some private wildlife areas in South Africa, where poachers have killed large numbers of rhinos for their horns.
The small conservation group called Vetpaw previously operated in Tanzania, which ordered the group to leave last year, partly because of a video in which a member talked about killing poachers.
Ryan Tate, a former U.S. Marine and head of Vetpaw, said Tuesday that the member didn’t speak for Vetpaw and that he has sought to “rebrand” the organization.
Tate and Shea Peaton, a U.S. Navy veteran, have spent about a month in South Africa, assessing security needs in several wildlife parks.
Tate says training will include marksmanship, field medicine and maneuvering at night.