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The possessions of captured poachers are confiscated and hung at the entrance of the Hlane Royal National Park, in Swaziland.

The possessions of captured poachers are confiscated and hung at the entrance of the Hlane Royal National Park, in Swaziland.

When you enter the gates of the Hlane Royal National Park in Swaziland, you are immediately greeted by what at first appears to be a rather untidy collection of mangled barbed wire and hoards of rubbish tangled in it. It’s easy to think that it’s just another example of a very poorly maintained African fence. But to those in the know, the apparent eye-sore is an extremely powerful symbol of outright war, and is a positive symbol of the strides being made by a small army of people.

The wire, mesh, and assortment of bags and other materials are the tools of poachers who have been captured. Their equipment and artefacts for bush survival confiscated and turned into a wall of shame – hanged, like outlaws with nooses around their necks, for all to see.

The spectacle is an immensely clear signal to those who dare trespass with the intention of bringing harm to the animals in the reserve: Do so at your peril!

As advertising goes, it doesn’t get much more subtle, yet striking than this. Having understood what it stands for, I’d even go as far as to call it an impressive and inspirational work of art!

The tattered backpack of a poacher hangs ensnared in a jagged nest of wire.

The tattered backpack of a poacher hangs ensnared in a jagged nest of wire.

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