On July 10th, Ijema was welcomed back into the Wildlife Works ranks after a nearly 18-month recovery following a gruesome poaching-related incident in which he received a bullet wound to his shoulder. The catastrophe, which was the first time in Wildlife Works’ 15 years of operation that an employee was lost to a poaching-related incident, also lead to the death of ranger, Abdullahi Mohammed.
Ijema and his family are happy to report tremendous improvements to his health after undergoing an operation to have a replacement titanium plate fitted to increase the mobility in his shoulder.
Those working close with him report a jubilant Ijema who has come back with renewed vigor. “Ijema is feeling much better and livelier,” says Eric, the head ranger. “We are putting him on light duties until we are assured that he is strong enough to start taking on more demanding duties.”
An optimistic Ijema expressed appreciation for U.S. government efforts, such as President Obama’s formation of a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking and his pledge to donate $10 million towards combating crimes against wildlife, to eliminate the ruthless killing of elephants and other rare wildlife.
Our rangers indeed report that there have been fewer cases of poaching reported around the Wildlife Works project area after the government launched a major security operation to eliminate nomadic herders from the ranches.
“I am grateful to be coming back to work at a time when fewer cases of poaching have been reported in the last few months,” says Ijema.
“I realize and appreciate the efforts that everyone concerned is putting into place to eliminate poaching from our wildlife sanctuaries and make them a better place for both the wildlife and the communities that live around them, “ concludes Ijema.