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South Africa’s National Park beefs up security ahead of festive season

By Bisola Adeyemo

The South Africa’s national parks on Friday inducted a special ranger team as part of its efforts to tighten up safety and security at the Table Mountain National Park, a top tourist attraction in the country.

The special ranger team consists of a handlers unit with six fully trained dogs and a specialized operations center which support the park’s integrity, located in Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa.

This team will cover multiple functions which include visitor safety, search and rescue for lost person, and combat against illicit wildlife crime such as abalone poaching said South African National Parks (SANParks) in a statement. The deployment will be intelligence-driven with visible policing over the festive season to cover some of the park’s tourism and recreational hot spots, it said.

According to Dumisani Dlamini, acting CEO of SANParks, the Special Rangers team is the first of this type within SANParks, and the selection process included a tough mental and physical process for each candidate.

The training curriculum prepared the rangers to be integrated into specialized operations with deployment capabilities in all weather conditions, said Dlamini.

It will provide a much-needed boost to the current team of ranger corps and should be seen as a necessary measure to strengthen anti-poaching and the fight against crime within the Table Mountain National Park, he said.

Muggings and attacks on Table Mountain have increased in recent years, even though the national park has taken security measures. It advises tourists to travel in a group and take other precautions for safety.

Table Mountain is famous for the tablecloth of clouds that pours endlessly down its slopes.

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