Biodiversity,  Conservation,  Forest Communities

Ijema Returns to Work after an Incredible Recovery

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.

Ijema after his successful shoulder surgery
Ijema after his successful shoulder surgery

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.”

Ijema, who currently spends most of his time doing patrols with Eric, was among a team of WW rangers and KWS officers tracking poachers after the discovery of a wounded elephant in the Kasigau Corridor project area.
Only wildlife rangers, such as Ijema, are experienced enough to get this close to an elephant

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.

Ijema with colleagues after he was able to return to work
Ijema with colleagues after he was able to return to work

“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.


  • Ivonne Teoh

    Great news, Ijema, will continue to pray for you and your team mates. Get back to full strength soon! We appreciate you from Australia!

  • Heather Watridge

    So glad to see you are up and about again and out there careing for the elephants and other animals Ilove so much. Be strong and safe. Heather SA

  • Shaaron Murphy

    Dear Ijema,
    Thank you for your courage and for your good heart. The elephants need you and you know they are thanking you, too.

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