South Africa: Around Kruger NP, providing basic education, tourism jobs in local communities best defense against poaching, advocates say

HOEDSPRUIT, South Africa – Vince Barkas, a grizzled high-school dropout with a sharp tongue and piercing blue eyes, is at war in the grasslands and savannas here in northeast South Africa.

The war is fought at multiple levels with elements that define this complex nation: iconic wildlife being poached, loss of habitat, race, poverty, overpopulation. In essence, it’s humans versus nature. And hope, where it exists, lies in basic education and jobs in tourism.

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