Despite Danger, She Keeps Fighting for Wildlife
It's been 10 days since Sidonie Asseme has seen her children. She's tired and hungry, and has spent every night in a small tent deep in the Cameroonian jungle. As a 36-year-old mother of five, she is one of a small minority of female park rangers in the world.
Asseme, a WWF park ranger, works on the frontlines of the war on wildlife crime. Each day she patrols Cameroon's wilderness, protecting endangered species from poachers who slaughter animals for sale on the black market.
Even with intense training, nothing prepared Asseme for the life-threatening dangers that exist for rangers. While on duty, she has been assaulted, beaten and threatened. During one antipoaching operation, rangers were locked up in a house by angry villagers who threatened to set the house ablaze. She also recalls the assassination of her colleagues by poachers inside Lobeke National Park.
Despite the dangers, Asseme says she'll never stop fighting to save Africa's wildlife. "I hope to continue working as a game ranger for a long time. I love wearing this uniform."
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World Wildlife Fund