International Armoring Corp, a company in the USA that builds bulletproof cars, has been contracted to outfit four helicopters for South Africa’s Anti-Poaching Task Force.

 

The task force is responsible for protecting South Africa’s rhino and elephant populations from illegal ivory poachers.

Over the past few years, heavily armed poachers have become more aggressive, firing on agents as they patrol overhead in helicopters.

International Armoring developed lightweight, high-tech fiber materials which weigh 40 percent to 60 percent less than traditional bulletproof armor.

“What we’re doing is minimizing the weight and maximizing the protection, where these helicopters go into higher risk areas,” Burton said.

The armored vehicles produced by International Armoring can withstand high-power rifle fire in addition to improvised explosive devices, he said.

“Just like the cars, our focus (with the helicopters) is on the passenger compartment, allowing them time to react and get out of a dangerous situation,” Burton said.

Since the start of the poaching epidemic in 2008 South Africa has lost over 6 000 rhinos – a figure that, despite so much effort, increases daily. Coupled with the increasing poaching figure comes the question – why after all this are we still losing more rhino than ever?

Sadly, few people realise the challenges facing those on the frontlines – thousands of kilometers to patrol with little to no idea of where the poachers plan to hit next. At this stage the poachers have the upper hand – they know when, they know how, and if need be they’ll just come back another day or hit a softer target.

Partnerships like these are what are working to make a difference. And these new helicopters will add some strength to our incredible anti-poaching teams.


Sources: Utah News
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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