NIGERAN park ranger Suleiman Saidu has won the 2021 Wildlife Ranger Award worth £30,000 at the yearly prestigious Tusk Conservation Awards in appreciation of the work he does to protect elephants from poachers.
Saidu was first employed by the Nigeria National Park Service in 1999 as a park ranger, before progressing through the ranks to become a senior game guard ranger at the Yankari National Park. His work to monitor elephant populations, combat poaching and help mitigate human-elephant conflict is essential not only to the protection of a gravely endangered species but to maintain the rich biodiversity of the environment.
Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State is home to one of the largest remaining elephant populations in West Africa and is Nigeria’s richest wildlife site. According to the award givers, Saidu’s commitment, hard work and tenacity has earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and his community.
The Nick Maughan Foundation is the official sponsor of the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, believing that recognising the unsung heroes of today will inspire the conservationist leaders of tomorrow. Granting the winner £30,000 to support the continuation of their work, the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award is directly in line with the three pillars of the Nick Maughan Foundation: education, environment and community.
Nick Maughan, the founder of the Nick Maughan Foundation and board member of the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, said: “There are times when it is important to single out the work of one individual to serve as an example for others who contribute to conservation, or who might want to contribute to conservation in the future.
“Saidu should be rightly recognised for his achievements and should be considered as a true hero of our times, one that richly deserves the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award for 2021. I am proud that the Nick Maughan Foundation is the official sponsor of the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award and I hope that it will continue to be for many years to come.”
His foundation was established in 2020 to further a range of philanthropic initiatives in education, the environment and civic support schemes for disenfranchised communities. Among other things, the foundation supports wildlife conservation projects both in the UK and worldwide and has been a long-term supporter of Tusk.