May 23rd, 2013
In this amazing story from the New York Times we meet Julius Lokinyi. Once an infomas Kenyan poacher Julius now proudly works as a park ranger protecting the elephants he once hunted.
“ARCHER’S POST, Kenya — Julius Lokinyi was one of the most notorious poachers in this part of Kenya, accused of single-handedly killing as many as 100 elephants and selling the tusks by the side of the road in the dead of night, pumping vast amounts of ivory into a shadowy global underground trade.
Julius Lokinyi, once a poacher accused of killing as many as 100 elephants, is now a ranger guarding elephants for the billion-dollar tourism industry.
But after being hounded, shamed, browbeaten and finally persuaded by his elders, he recently made a remarkable transformation. Elephants, he has come to believe, are actually worth more alive than dead, because of the tourists they attract. So Mr. Lokinyi stopped poaching and joined a grass-roots squad of rangers — essentially a conservation militia — to protect the wildlife he once slaughtered.”