It is now close to two years since Chengeta Wildlife began its work in Mali in partnership with Wild Foundation and the Canadian Fund for International Conservation.
Many people, including world renowned experts, believed that it would be impossible to save this last relic population of Sahelian desert elephants.
Chengeta had initially begun with the training of a small team of rangers. However, during 2015 and 2016 the security situation had deteriorated so dramatically and quickly that it became necessary for a combined army-ranger brigade to be formed and trained.
This was the only hope of not only saving the last desert elephants, but also ensuring that anti-poaching and anti-trafficking missions could be undertaken in the midst of the ongoing conflict under high risk of attack by armed extremist groups, bandits, poachers and traffickers.
Chengeta Wildlife was tasked with training this new mixed unit. The situation was desperate. Yet after training and deploying the unit in one of the most dangerous places in the world, the Malian Combined Antipoaching Brigade, together with support from its partners, managed to bring the poaching to a complete stop for over a year.
This exclusive short film has been specially put together for private viewing by Chengeta's supporters and partners only and is not authorised to be downloaded, shared or viewed publically.
It is intended to give a glimpse of the last 18 months of training and operations and shows the trainers of Chengeta Wildlife, the rangers of the Malian Department National des Eaux et Forêts (Malian National Department of Water and Forests) and the soldiers of the Forces Armées Maliennes (Malian Armed Forces) during training in the conflict zone, at work with the communities and the elephants, and shows the unit defending itself from attack by overwhelming forces of attackers.
THE FILM COMES WITH A WARNING: THIS FILM IS NOT FOR CHILDREN AND IS NOT ADVISED FOR VIEWING BY PEOPLE OF A NERVOUS DISPOSITION
It is at times emotionally difficult to watch but ultimately tells a story of successfully fighting to protect the innocent against overwhelming odds.
Our work is only possible through the generosity of supporters and partners like you and I want to personally thank you for your continued support and encouragement to allow us to continue our effective presence on the frontline.
Rory Young and the Chengeta Wildlife team