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  • (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.