Home for many rangers in the Limpopo National Park is the remote location of the FOB (Forward Operating Base), where they spend long weeks and months away from their families and loved ones in order to play their vital role in conservation management and protection.
Relying on each other for professional and personal support, the rangers form close bonds with each other but also the four-legged members of the team. The relationship between the dogs and the rangers is a rather special one. None more than Hunter, who really is the camp favourite. When Sean or one of the rangers return to camp, he makes a huge fuss of them on their return. A big softie at heart, Hunter loves a cuddle too, and is always ready to lie about being spoiled rotten by one of the rangers.
Perhaps it is because it was a ranger, Dolf Botha, Counter-Poaching Unit Coordinator of Maputo Special Reserve and Ponto do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, who found Hunter struggling as a pup and brought him back to the camp at Limpopo. Adopted by the Limpopo team, yet unable to excel at tracking – the role of most working dogs out in the bush – a place was nevertheless found for Hunter on the team. Being a camp companion! Hunter puts a smile on everyone’s face – always there with a wagging tail and a welcome.
As being a ranger is not really a 9-5 job, camp life needs to provide some home comforts. Although Hunter is known for taking long naps, he provides real companionship for all the rangers in camp and, at the end of the day, when everyone settles down to sleep, it is Hunter who sits awake, ensuring no large animals like elephant or hyena, come too close to camp.