How did this organisation start?
The Protrack rhino task team was created thanks to Vincent Barkas, founder of Protrack Anti Poaching Unit. With the rhino poaching figures climbing higher, Vincent knew being behind the fence lines was not enough to win this war, he needed teams on the roads and a team dedicated to obtain vital information about poaching syndicates. Protrack could see from the start there was no way they could fund these kind of operations using profits from Protrack, so instead Leigh Barkas thought it would be a better idea to make Vincent's idea a reality by funding the team through donations and created The Protrack Rhino Task Team NPO, since 2013 the team have been highly active everyday and making a large number of arrests. The task team to today are also used as a reaction team and hot line for any rhino incidents in our area.
What's Different about us compared to other Rhino Charities?
We are the only team that are fully operational for all reserves in our area and have great support and trust from our local SAPS (South African Police Service) and the community. Our Anti Poachers are fully trained, fully armed and run 24hours a day. We are the only team that have a fantastic intel and investigation team and great connections in the anti poaching industry including SANPARKS. All of our donations go directly towards the running costs of our team who are preventing rhino poaching and crime 24 hours a day. Our team have Protrack Anti Poaching unit as a big brother, Protrack have 25 years of anti poaching experience and are the largest and first ever private anti poaching unit in south Africa. The knowledge and expertise they have given to us and are still giving to us everyday is invaluable.
What do we do? Everyday, our task team mission out into the bush fully equipped and fully armed to prevent our rhinos from dying, going into the bush day or night is not a safe job, they are risking their lives walking the same paths as dangerous game that could attack at any time.
Our team do many things for the rhino owners in our area such as foot patrols, vehicle patrols, presence patrols, road blocks, observation posts and our 24 hour hot line is always ready and waiting to be answered. Our Intel team are constantly gathering information and planning operations for arrests so far we have been very successful and with more donations our operations are getting bigger which means we are arresting poachers on a higher level, higher than we ever expected.