Members of the Welsh Guards’ Battlegroup, training for future operations in Kenya, have been waging a real war on poaching in the country. Sergeant Julian Thomas of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards led a training task force to help the anti poaching team in the north of the country deal with the growing threats posed by big game poachers.
Big John is part of the Kenyan anti-poaching team. He explained: “The poachers come at night and are after the rhino trophies. Some are ex anti-poachers which is a real problem for us because they know our methods and where we are. The British Army has excellent experience of war torn countries and the complex problems of insurgency, so we really appreciate the training they can give us. We face big challenges, are poorly equipped and it’s a big area - 60,000 acres and that’s covered by my team of just 32 guys”.
Sergeant Thomas and his men didn’t waste a moment and did all they could to pass on the latest operational techniques that could enhance the anti-poaching team in their war on the illegal trade in animal ivory, pelts and bones. “The anti-poaching team are a professional bunch of guys with previous military training,” he said. “With our experience of coming under armed attack in Afghanistan, we’ve been able to put our training together with their training and aid them massively in the way they conduct business out in the bush. We’ve been teaching them two man drills, four man contact drills, how to deal with incoming fire, get out of trouble, how to fight when outnumbered, and stop any casualties occurring.”
The anti-poaching team go out on an 11 to 13 hour shift throughout the night. They work in observation posts, on patrols where they know the poachers are operating and actively taking on the poachers. The poachers can get $40,000 for one rhino horn, but they’re also tracking elephants, and are wiping out stocks and herds of animals on an industrial scale.
Had this guy ready to photograph for ages but never got around to it!
This lion head was created for a local event in memorial of World War 1, for the 100 year memorial this year. He’s off to a photoshoot on the weekend and I wanted to get him uploaded before then. He’s been donated to the event, though I -may- get him back afterwards and put him up for sale, though I’m not sure if I’ll be getting him back yet.
His face is all hand sewn fleece with DF fur chin accent, and a MM rust fur mane. He is designed to fit anyone up to a 24” head, but I feel 23” would be more accurate due to the base foam being thicker than it was meant to be, which caused me some problems. He has follow-me eyes, full airbrushing on the face and ear vents behind the mane to allow more air into the mask. The only slight issue is that, due to time and money constraints, the head does not yet have a lining. I’m not sure if I will sell it this way or line the head, as lining after furring is more difficult.