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Jealous Mpofu Wins Tusk’s Ranger of the Year Award for his Work with a Misunderstood Species

Starved of habitat, maligned and hunted, painted dogs have plummeted in number from an estimated half a million to fewer than 7,000, surviving on the edge of oblivion in a few pockets of southern Africa. Scientists believe climate change threatens to wipe them out completely. As underdogs go, they are hard to beat. But they do have some friends, and none more friendly than the man who has been recognised by the charity Tusk as its ranger of the year for his work over a quarter of a century bringing these curious animals back from the brink.