Honoring Anton Mzimba

OUR HERO, MENTOR, AND FRIEND

11 FEBRUARY 1980 – 26 JULY 2022

Honoring Our Fallen Hero: Anton Mzimba

This week, our worst nightmare became a reality. It is with broken hearts that we announce that Anton Mzimba, GCC Technical Advisor and friend, mentor and hero to everyone on our team, is no longer with us.

On the evening of July 26th, Anton was brutally murdered in his own home and in front of his family. The police are currently pursuing three suspects whom we can only assume are hired hitmen. Anton’s wife was injured in the attack, but all of his children escaped safely.

Anton was murdered in the name of his life’s passion – protecting rhinos, conserving nature, and fighting for a better future. We cannot find the words to express the depth of this loss. We are shocked, angry, discouraged and hurting.

More than being an amazing and inspiring ranger, Anton was a great man. He was our friend. He was our hero. Above all, he believed that it was his sacred calling to protect this planet’s beautiful creatures and was willing to sacrifice everything – including, ultimately, his life – to protect the vulnerable and inspire the next generation to follow as wildlife protectors.

“He always said he knew the risks. The risks of being a ranger. The risks of sharing his story. But that doesn’t change the fact that his loss is devastating. He could have done so much more. His family could have had so many more years with him…All we can do now is mourn his passing. Thank him for his life’s work. And honor his legacy by carrying his torch forward.”

John Jurko II

GCC Creative Director and RHINO MAN Filmmaker

How to Honor Anton’s Legacy

Anton Mzimba Education Trust

We have chosen to launch the “Anton Mzimba Education Trust” – a trust that will help support his family in the immediate future, and help support his life’s passion in the long-term; inspiring youth to love wildlife as he did. Our goal is $100,000, but any amount you feel compelled to give in his memory is so greatly appreciated.

DONATE HERE

Follow RHINO MAN

RHINO MAN – is a feature-length documentary about Anton and the courageous field rangers who risk their lives every day to protect South Africa’s rhinos from being poached to extinction. Telling the story of Anton and our other brave wildlife guardians is more important now than ever.

LEARN MORE HERE

This tragic loss serves as a painful and sobering reminder of the danger that Anton and other brave wildlife defenders face everyday. Over 150 rangers around the world have lost their lives in the past 12 months (The Thin Green Line). It is perhaps poetic that Anton’s memorial service will be held this Sunday on World Ranger Day. We invite you to remember him with us – light a candle, say a prayer, or just spend some time listening to his words and hearing his message of hope, compassion and courage.

Anton, we love you. We miss you. We promise to honor you by carrying on your legacy and protecting the vulnerable wildlife you sacrificed your life to save.

We will never forget you.

Our Memories:

Voices of Nature Podcast Ep. 2: Anton Mzimba and the life of a ranger

Anton's Story

As a young boy, Anton dreamed of becoming a soldier. He admired their uniforms, their strength, noticing how proud they were as they marched with their firearms. Life took him on another path to construction, but the dream never left him. After working in construction on the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, his hard work was noticed by the general manager of the reserve and he was offered a permanent position.

From here he trained to be a field ranger and worked his way up the ranks from junior ranger to senior ranger, corporal, sergeant, to head of ranger services today. Anton also served as technical advisor to GCC, keeping our team up to date with challenges the people and animals are facing inside and outside of the park.

His role drastically changed from the early days of being a field ranger when he just had to patrol the park for meat poachers working with snares, dogs and spears. Local navigators began to work together with experienced heavily armed shooters to kill rhinos for their horns, making the work of the ranger more dangerous than ever. Anton ended up being a soldier of sorts after all, putting his life on the line to protect some of the world’s most endangered species. Anton served as a wildlife protector and Head of Ranger Services at Timbavati for 25 years.

Anton in His Own Words:

Anton Mzimba

“Voices of Nature” Podcast
Head of Field Ranger Services
Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

LISTEN TO EPISODE

RHINO MAN Cast and Crew

“Voices of Nature” Podcast
Meet the filmmakers and lead characters in the Global Conservation Corps documentary film, RHINO MAN

LISTEN TO EPISODE

Anton Mzimba

“The RHINO MAN Podcast”
How Anton became a ranger, the role of a ranger, and how that role has changed over the years

LISTEN TO EPISODE

“It may be a dark time now, but we will ensure that Anton’s legacy lives on in all of us whose lives he touched. We will continue to cultivate the unyielding passion he showed to reconnect the young of the surrounding communities to wildlife to ensure that they too become guardians of their heritage. Today is a heartbreaking reminder of the huge challenges our wildlife protectors face and just how incredibly important it is to continue to support them in every way we can.”

“Our Tribute to Our Fallen Wildlife Warrior” – Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

How to Honor Anton’s Legacy

Anton Mzimba Education Trust

We have chosen to launch the “Anton Mzimba Education Trust” – a trust that will help support his family in the immediate future, and help support his life’s passion in the long-term; inspiring youth to love wildlife as he did. Our goal is $100,000, but any amount you feel compelled to give in his memory is so greatly appreciated.

DONATE HERE

Follow RHINO MAN

RHINO MAN – is a feature-length documentary about Anton and the courageous field rangers who risk their lives every day to protect South Africa’s rhinos from being poached to extinction. Telling the story of Anton and our other brave wildlife guardians is more important now than ever.

LEARN MORE HERE

“You need someone who has a passion for being a field ranger. This is our calling. This is our mission. This is our legacy…Being a ranger is something that, for me as a Christian, is very important. When I read Genesis Chapter One, verses 28 and 29, I am made aware that the Lord, our God, pronounced that we men are given powers to rule the land. We have to take care of the animals, the fish in the sea, and the birds in the sky. So this is what makes the profession a special one.”

Anton Mzimba

Hero, Mentor, Friend, Wildlife Guardian