For over half a decade, Manuel has been working to protect the rare and beautiful Giant Sable antelope. Following periods of conflict in the Angola, it was feared that the country’s national animal had become extinct. Manuel’s commitment and knowledge were key to finding some of the last remaining populations.
As a Game ranger and Giant Sable Shepherd in the Luando Nature Reserve, Manuel and his colleagues track and protect the antelope, and with no vehicle on the reserve, that means walks of up to 50km. And of course, danger from poachers is ever present – “guns and traps are always there” says Manuel.
I like to say that I am like the chameleon – he walks slow and it may seem that he’s standing still, but he goes far; and when the bush fires come he is quick to react and moves out of danger!
Manuel’s dedication to the Giant Sable is remarkable and inspiring to us all and he is an incredibly deserving winner of the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award. “I’m very happy and proud. And it is very important for me to feel that I was not forgotten.”