The Kruger National Park (KNP) has made history by appointing its first female head ranger.
Cathy Dreyer took up the role on 1 May.
For Dreyer, being the first female head ranger is all about hard work and commitment.
“Some of the most committed, ethical and dedicated conservationists I have met are men and women. It really is about the individual’s character – it all comes down to integrity, fairness and a passion for what you do,” she says.
Dreyer hopes her appointment will inspire others.
“Massive strides have already been made by women across all spheres of life and I hope my appointment will further prove that one should never place any limitations on oneself.
“There isn’t anything that cannot be achieved through hard work, dedication and the right people supporting you,” she says.
Dreyer’s passion for wildlife is mostly driven by a need to make a difference and meaningful contribution to conservation.
“This extends further than wildlife, it also extends to the people who dedicate their lives to protecting our national heritage. It is an incredible privilege to be the head ranger of KNP.”
Dreyer’s appointment came after KNP’s recent strategy session to prepare a Rhino Implementation Plan to address the decline of rhino in the park.
“I think the biggest challenge will be balancing the security and conservation functions and the demand they place on the ranger corps,” she says.
Dreyer adds that it is important to ensure that the men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting our wild places and wildlife receive the support they deserve.
“I am looking forward to working with the team to address these issues and make a meaningful contribution to rhino conservation and the rangers.”
Gareth Coleman, KNP’s Managing Executive, says Dreyer is highly experienced in conservation management and conserving rhinos in particular.
“We know she will bring new energy, ideas and passion to our dedicated team,” he adds.
Dreyer was previously the Conservation Manager at Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape and before that she was based at the KNP where she contributed to the protection and conservation of black rhino.