Wildlife CSI Academy, 2022
Buffelsfontein, South Africa
Category - Change Makers: Reason for Hope
Forensics students from universities in the UK and the Netherlands take part in a practical exercise to document forensic traces at a fake rhino poaching crime scene at the Wildlife Crime Forensics Academy in Buffelsfontein, South Africa. The Academy was set up in May 2022 to equip rangers and other environmental law enforcement officers with the skills needed to collect the vital forensic evidence required to convict poachers in court. Wildlife crime cases hardly make it to court, either because suspects cannot be identified or because of a lack of usable evidence. The founders of the Academy, which is the first of its kind worldwide, hope that by using ultrarealistic fake crime scenes they can help train and inspire a new generation of wildlife crime forensics experts and significantly boost conviction rates in poaching cases. Currently, the illegal wildlife trade is thought to be worth as much as $20b per year, from ivory and pangolin scales to rosewood and ornamental succulents.
24 mm f/1.4 Lens - 1/320 sec at f/3.5 ISO 640