Militia OK'd to Shoot Poachers in Africa

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Working in one of the most corrupt, anarchic settings on Earth, the operation has struggled to get on its feet amid financial setbacks, rumors of impending coup attempts, and allegations of illicit diamond-trading.

Mainstream conservation organizations have been keen to distance themselves from lethal anti-poaching efforts and the growing "eco-mercenary" movement, in which international groups of enforcers do the dirty work that governments and image-conscious environmental organizations can't. But many environmentalists quietly cheer for the project's success.

"We wouldn't do it," says the World Wildlife Fund's Richard Carroll, who considered WWF involvement in the area in the late 1990s. "But hopefully Hayse can make it happen. It's really a last-ditch effort. I just hope he understands what he's getting into. These people are heavily armed and very dangerous. It's basically a war situation."

Tom Clynes has written a more extensive report on this subject in the October issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine, available now on newsstands throughout the United States.

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