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Caretaker of northern white rhinos among winners of Jack Ma award

The award recognizes rangers who have excelled in wildlife protection

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James Mwenda and Julius Kulwa emerged winners of the Ranger's Award which is an initiative of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma aimed at recognizing excellence among game rangers on the forefront of wildlife protection in Africa.

The award honoured 50 African rangers who include wildlife wardens, forest guards, foresters, rangers, scouts, watchers and other frontline field staff working on wildlife, habitat and natural resource protection.

They will be awarded Sh300,000 ($3,000) each by China-based Paradise Foundation International (PFI).

Ol Pejeta conservancy

Mwenda was recognised for taking care of two world's remaining white rhinos at Ol Pejeta conservancy as well as watching over the last male white rhino, Sudan, that died in March.

Kulwa, on the other hand, was killed by an elephant while headed to work.

He was eulogised by the Big Life Foundation as one among many African rangers who risked their lives in the wild to protect endangered wildlife.

“Rangers put their lives on the line every day that they step into the field, and we have always dreaded the moment when things might go terribly wrong. Sadly, that day came recently when one of Big Life’s long-serving rangers, Kior Kulwa, was killed by an elephant while returning to work from home,” part of the eulogy read.

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