Mandoza-Freddie-TshabalalaGraduation day comes early on Monday?s episode of?Wildlife Warzone,?which premieres on Al Jazeera English on?Monday, 28 October 2013 at 22:30GMT.

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Of the nine anti-poaching trainees who began, only six remain by the final day of the grueling Protrack course. They have one final make-or -break challenge:?a 25 kilometre run, in the heat of the day, with full backpacks on for the final five kilometres.

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For 28-year-old Mandoza ?Freddie? Tshabalala, graduating is emotional. ?I’ve never been acknowledged for anything in my life; it was an amazing feeling,? says the former paving contractor from Johannesburg.?


?It?s a very, very good feeling,? echoes Chrisjan Visser, a 21-year-old Cape Tonian wildlife guide. ?When I was a little boy, teacher asked us to draw a picture of what you wanted to be when you grew up: I drew a picture of myself in the field with elephants and giraffes and lions and a stick. That?s what I?ve always wanted to be.?


The six newly qualified rangers celebrate together, singing:

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??????????Protrack boys can be bad, so hasty, so annoying.

?????????Protrack boys can be bad and kill the poachers.

?????????Hooray for the holy Protrack boys.?

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Lunga Nyawe and Lionel Poney then head back to their families in the Eastern Cape. While Lunga must still find work, Lionel has a job waiting for him at Shamwari Game Reserve, named the World’s Leading Conservation Company and Leading Safari Lodge at the 2012 World Travel Awards.?

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Meanwhile, Chrisjan takes the other graduates for a celebratory hike through the Drakensberg Mountains before they start working for Protrack.?Their first posting is in Limpopo at Selati Game Reserve, where three rhinos have been poached in the previous three weeks. For 16 days, they will live out in the bush.?Within minutes of starting, they?re already on the trail of fresh poacher tracks?

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This fourth episode?in the six-part series screens from?Monday, 28 October at?22:30GMT, with additional screenings on Tuesdays at?9:30GMT, Wednesdays at?03:30GMT, and Thursdays at?16:30GMT.?

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Watch?

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