Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles (marching). (marching). (speaking native language). (speaking native language). PETRONELLA (off-screen): Today, we are expecting 500 recruits, they're coming in. From 500, you want 80 to graduate. This training is going to be hard, but I know these ladies, they are strong. Ladies. As we are coming here, everyone we know, we are coming here for training and it's good to work together. You cannot move alone so try to help each other, encourage each other. Teamwork guys, teamwork. Together we are one. DAMIEN: Here, today, we are all equals. The only thing that will set you apart is if you've got character and spirit and, if you do, we'll teach you how to fight. (explosion). DAMIEN (off-screen): I've spent my life doing things in real life that most kids can't do on a PlayStation. Living every kid's dream; jumping out of helicopters, blowing stuff up. My background is counter-insurgency warfare. We go out, we look for a fight, we wanna finish it. (gunfire). DAMIEN (off-screen): Akashinga shifts the strategy on conservation of having women come out and do what was perceived to be a male only role. We started this program with 16 women and now every young woman, every young girl out there wants to be a ranger. It's a tough job, it's a dangerous job. It's one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Some of you will die doing this job. You're gonna be out there up against armed men. They will be willing to kill elephants or anybody that's standing in their way and the only thing standing in their way will be you. PETRONELLA (off-screen): These ladies are like me. Their life is tough. It's very difficult to survive. 00:02:39.618,00:00:00.000 They work hard to have food, they work hard to have even clothes to wear. Next! Before I joined Akashinga, my life was very difficult, even to give food to the babies, it was too difficult. I was crying every day, every day. I was telling myself, this is a job that I want. I'm sacrificing my everything, my life, for protecting the wildlife. DAMIEN (off-screen): Petronella stood out from the beginning, from day one when we did selection with the first program; she walked differently, she looked differently. She became one of our best rangers very quickly. (cheering). DAMIEN (off-screen): Now here she is, ready to lead the selection, of what will become 240 more rangers in the next 12 months. PETRONELLA (off-screen): Now I'm a leader and I'm going to teach other ladies to be like me. Some of them, they are going to finish, some of them, they are going to surrender. (speaking native language). Down! Up! TRAINEES: Down, up. PETRONELLA: Down! TRAINEES: Down, up. PETRONELLA: Up. DAMIEN (off-screen): Over the next 72 hours, we're gonna expose these women to the four pillars of misery; to be hungry, cold, tired and wet. We're gonna push them to their physical and, most importantly, their mental limits. We're gonna see what they're made of. PETRONELLA (off-screen): Keep on pushing, guys. Keep on pushing. (whistle). Keep on pushing, guys. Don't stop. Keep on pushing. When you come here, just tell us about your life. The challenges that you faced. PETRONELLA: I'm going to push you, I'm going to say "yes". So you're going to push me back. Then you say "no". Yes! TRAINEE: No! PETRONELLA: I say yes. TRAINEE: No. PETRONELLA (off-screen): I say yes. TRAINEE (off-screen): No. PETRONELLA (off-screen): I say yes. TRAINEE (off-screen): No. PETRONELLA (off-screen): Can you approach the poacher? You must be aggressive and be confident. Say no! We want to know, can you fight? How strong are you? Yes! Say yes! Yes! TRAINEE (off-screen): No! PETRONELLA (off-screen): Yes! TRAINEE (off-screen): No! (speaking native language). (speaking native language). PETRONELLA (off-screen): You must know how to fight, how to defend yourself. I can see some of them, they are strong. Keep pushing! Keep pushing! Some of them, they can become Akashinga rangers. PETRONELLA (off-screen): Most of the poachers, they're men, so they think we are not strong. They were saying "You ladies, you cannot arrest us." They were saying "When you become Akashinga, I'm going to burn your house. I'm going to rape you. I'm going to destroy your family." But I feel it in my heart; when I see you disturbing or poaching or hunting my animals, then I will show you, I will catch you. I love my elephants like my children so I must protect them as I'm protecting my children. (gunshot). DAMIEN (off-screen): Without protection in these areas, elephants will continue to be slaughtered; they will become instinct. PETRONELLA: Poachers, they kill elephants because they want tusks, the ivory. People from the villages, sometimes they give us information if there is someone who's poaching the animals. A raid is dangerous. For us, when we see gun, it tell us that gun is used to kill the elephants. It means you are a killer. DAMIEN (off-screen): 8,000 elephants were killed in the 16 years prior to our arrival, herded by fires, shot, poisoned and snared. And those women, with the arrests that they've made, have been able to break up those syndicates and drive a downturn in elephant poaching across this entire landscape. The women are now their leaders; I'm expendable. They're the ones taking this program forward. For so long, we've been blinded by our egos from seeing the most powerful force in nature and that's a woman's instinct to protect. PETRONELLA (off-screen): This job is a dangerous job, so you must sacrifice your life to be an Akashinga lady. Akashinga ladies, they must be one group, one family. Work as a team, work as a group, help each other, support each other. We become sisters. I will teach you to fight back. I will teach you to disappear. I will teach you to use your power. I can see there are some brave ones inside this group. I'm so excited to tell them they are now accepted to be Akashinga rangers. DAMIEN: Two things we asked for is character and spirit and then we can teach you how to fight so long as you had those things, and you all have them, stronger than I've ever seen anywhere. So, everybody, congratulations on becoming an Akashinga trainee ranger. PETRONELLA (off-screen): I'm going to read the Akashinga Oath so, as I am reading, I want you to repeat after me. Is it clear? TRAINEES: Yes. PETRONELLA: I vow to use my skills and training... TRAINEES (off-screen): I vow to use my skills and training... PETRONELLA (off-screen): To protect these animals. TRAINEES (off-screen): To protect these animals. PETRONELLA (off-screen): To protect these lands. TRAINEES (off-screen): To protect these lands. PETRONELLA (off-screen): In this mission... TRAINEES (off-screen): In this mission... PETRONELLA (off-screen): I'm prepared to give my life. TRAINEES (off-screen): I'm prepared to give my life. PETRONELLA: This is my duty. TRAINEES: This is my duty. PETRONELLA: I am Akashinga! TRAINEES: I am Akashinga!