14th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Hamit Abdulla (23) on recon for the Mamba 1 Team in Zakouma National Park, Chad 2015
In 2002, an estimated 4,300 elephants roamed within the grounds of Zakouma National park; roughly 450 remain in 2015 as a direct result of ivory poaching.
The Mamba are an elite group of 25 rangers who are trained in making arrests, presenting evidence in court, handling sophisticated weaponry and engaging in firefight. Their presence in Zakouma has allowed the elephant population to stabilize with the birth of more than 40 calves since 2013.
© Matthew McMahon.
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||Nov. 30, 2016, 9:50 p.m.