Poaching of African wildlife has increased significantly since the pandemic decimated the African safari industry—and now a new project from Samsung Europe is trying to help.
The brand has launched a two-month livestream project promoting Samsung Galaxy's S20 FE mobile device, allowing people to become "virtual rangers" via their phones, watching over streams of wild animals in the Balule Nature Reserve, part of South Africa's Kruger National Park.
In partnership with local technology firm Africam, four Samsung Galaxy S20 FE handsets have been installed to monitor wildlife in the reserve and document the work of The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, an all-female troop who use non-violent methods to prevent poaching. The rangers will also have a camouflaged jeep fitted with a Samsung Galaxy S20 FE for surveillance patrols, and repurposed handsets are being redeployed by the rangers as CCTV cameras for perimeter fences.
Footage will be streamed for two months via the Wildlife Watch website, where viewers can alert rangers if they see animals in danger or signs of poaching, share what they see via snapshots on social and also donate to the Black Mambas.
The project was developed created via Edelman U.K., working with content hub Edelman South Africa. It's being promoted via a video, seen here, fronted by South Korean-born DJ, producer and fashion designer Peggy Gou.
“As our lives have become more virtual, the power that technology has to bring people together to do something good and for the benefit of everyone has never been clearer," said Mark Notton, senior director mobile, Samsung Europe, in a statement. "Wildlife Watch is a truly exciting pilot, and by repurposing one of our latest handsets in this way, we hope increased eyes on these incredible animals will not only support existing surveillance and raise awareness but bring pleasure by letting people see and learn more about wildlife from home.”