Yesha Callahan

The Black Mambas Are The World’s First All-Female Anti-Poaching Unit


In South Africa rhino poaching is leading to the extinction of rhinos, but one group of women have made it their mission to put an end to the practice and catch those involved. The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit is made up of 26 Black South African women, and they’re the first and only all female anti-poaching unit in the world.

The Black Mambas, who are unarmed, patrol Balule Nature Reserve within Kruger National Park. The women were picked by Balule warden Craig Spencer when he wanted to reach out to the communities surrounding the park.

“The problem really is that there is this perception that has developed in the communities outside the park–they see a uniformed official and think we are the sheriff of Nottingham, [and] they see the poachers as Robin Hood,” Spencer told the Guardian.


The women Spencer hired where high-school graduates, but also unemployed. They have all been trained  in combat and tracking.

“Lots of people said, ‘How can you work in the bush when you are a lady?’ But I can do anything I want,” said Leitah Michabela, a Black Mambas guard. “Many other people, especially young ladies like us… they want to join us.”

With rhino horns going for as much as $35,000 a pound in Asia, one member of the Black Mambas made it clear why she’s joining the effort to save the rhinos.

“I am a lady, I am going to have a baby. I want my baby to see a rhino, that’s why I am protecting it.”

Image Credits: Elephantopia Facebook/Black Mambas Facebook

  1. March 14, 2015 - Reply

    Ya know, I love to see us in non-traditional roles. This gave me life. Go on ahead, sistas!

  2. March 14, 2015 - Reply

    As many guns as there are in South Africa, why on earth are these women unarmed? Poachers are most definitely packing, and will use them in a minute.

  3. March 14, 2015 - Reply

    Things could get really deadly if they have to confront those poachers, but hey more power to these fierce ladies

  4. March 15, 2015 - Reply

    Yes!!!! I know you guys are primarily focusing on Rhinos as of now, but I read something that absolutely broke my heart the other day.

    It was like in 20 years tigers will be extinct. The most beautiful animal in the entire Earth, will be predicted extinct because big wigs want to have a tiger rug, or bust, or whatever weirdo sh*t rich people do w/ their fur. I hope to be apart of something like this in the future, for specifically tigers. Alongside my fellow BW (we’ll be armed tho lol), promoting animal rights & black female empowerment.

    Well wishes to you lovely ladies making the world a better place. I’ve seen such graphic pics of how these poachers legit rip off the horns from the heads of these rhinos and leave them in the sun to rot like garbage. Save those Rhinos

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