I'm a former special operations sniper who uses my expertise in Africa to protect elephant and rhino from poachers. My name is Damien Mander, AMA.ank) AMA!
Last week an old buddy posted a photo album (http://imgur.com/a/20wzq) on reddit about my organization, the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), and an AMA was requested- so I'm here to take your questions.
My journey: I was a naval special operations sniper in the Australian Defense Force. In 2008 I completed my 12th tour of duty in Iraq as a so-called mercenary, and I felt that there had to be more to life than living out a game of Halo. After traveling around the world, I ended up in Africa. A trip to the bush left me face-to-face with the horrors the world’s wildlife is facing from poaching. I gave up everything my previous life had provided for me and started the IAPF.
IAPF’s mission is conservation through direct action. We aim to stop the hemorrhaging at the front lines of the world wildlife war. We do this by adopting a structured, military–like approach to conservation. This includes using correct levels of force to capture hardened poachers.
Since taking over security operations in Victoria Falls, not one rhino has been poached and the population of critically endangered black rhino has increased by 133% since 2010.
We now run operations covering more than 1 million acres and have supported 28 other initiatives. With your support, we can shift it up a few gears.
I have gotten a private donor to match donations made over the next few days so that up to a total of $10k will be matched. This will help us support rangers at ground level along the South Africa/ Mozambique border who are fighting to protect the world’s largest remaining rhino population. AND You asked for us to accept bitcoin reddit, so we listened.
If you'd like to support the war against poaching, please click here: (http://www.donate.iapf.org/)
Go ahead and ask me anything! I’ll be here for as long as it takes to answer your questions, or until the beer runs out, whatever comes first!
Verification Tweet: https://twitter.com/DamienMander/status/480380064392286209
Edit: formatting/verification link
Im not going anywhere guys..just getting warmed up!! Please if you have a moment, please sign up to our newsletter: http://ymlp.com/xgbhshuwgmgq
Edit: Everybody, it has really been a pleasure talking to you all. After 6 hours, I need to get some sleep, as I'm heading off in the morning. I will update you on the amount of funding you have all helped raise through this AmA - then we can go and spend it together fighting rhino poaching.
If you would like to support, then please head to: http://www.donate.iapf.org
UPDATE: Hello everyone. Im writing from the border of Mozambique/South Africa. The money raised so far by this AmA is over $20,000! Couple that with the $10k that was matched and we are at $30,000 and growing!! This is amazing. I spent yesterday and soon today in meetings with our team on the ground planning the implementation of these resources. We have already handed over some satellite communications equipment which was desperately needed. Much more to come because of all of you, so thank-you!! This will result in the direct capture/arrest of rhino poachers who are rampant in the area. I hope you guys are enjoying anti-poaching! Thank-you. You all rock! Check out our thank-you post
I promise to keep answering your questions when I'm close to an internet connection so keep them coming. Stay tuned!