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From Security Guard to Wildlife Police Officer: A Journey of Dedication and Determination

Born on January 15th, 1989, in the Chongwe District of Lusaka Province, Cacious Chunga is the youngest of six siblings. He completed his secondary education at Chongwe High School from 2005 to 2008, graduating with a General Certificate of Education. 

Cacious, poses for a picture on his first day at work as a Wildlife Police Officer under the Department of National Parks and Wildlife at Nalusanga Check Point in Kafue National Park.

Growing up with an older brother in the Army, Cacious aspired to join the service after completing his senior secondary education. However, despite his strong desire, he was not among the selected individuals chosen to undergo military training. Fiercely determined, this momentary setback did not squash his dream of serving Zambia in maintaining law and order. Instead, he took it as an opportunity to explore other options and continue his pursuit of success.  

In 2012, Cacious joined Game Rangers International (GRI) as a Security Guard. He was assigned to protect the Elephant Orphanage, where he quickly embraced the responsibility of safeguarding the well-being of the orphaned elephants and the GRI premises. 

Cacious Chungu (R) during his early days as a security guard at the Lusaka Elephant Orphanage under game rangers international.

During his first four years at GRI, he demonstrated unwavering commitment, dedication, and a strong work ethic in carrying out his duties to ensure that the orphanage was secured and protected. He developed a heightened interest in wildlife conservation and soon aspired to be trained as a Wildlife Ranger. GRI allows employees to advance their careers through its employee capacity-building policy and strongly supported this decision. He was assisted in acquiring admission to Chunga Wildlife Training School in Kafue National Park. 

After 3 months of intensive training, Cacious graduated from Chunga as a Community Ranger. Appreciating his career development, GRI promoted him from his role as a Security Guard to a Support Manager under the Kafue Conservation Project (KCP) attached to Busanga Anti-Poaching Unit on the Northwestern Front of Kafue National Park in Kasempa District from 2016 to 2018. 

"I am grateful to GRI and my family for the unwavering support I've received since joining the organization in 2012. Witnessing my growth and evolution from a mere Security Guard to a Support Manager has been a life-changing journey" said Cacious. 

Serving as a Support Manager in Kabanga Anti-poaching Unit, Cacious developed his leadership skills while gaining a deeper understanding of camp management and resource protection operations. 

As the Kafue Conservation Project transformed into the Resource Protection Programme in mid 2020, Cacious was moved to the new Musa Camp Headquarters where he maintained his role as Support Manager.   

“Cacious has made significant contributions to ensuring the seamless operation of activities at MUSA camp. His diligent efforts have played a pivotal role in supporting both the senior management team and the rangers on the ground, coordinating logistics, managing resources efficiently, and facilitating effective communication channels between teams” said GRI Human Resource Manager Alice Chimbini. 

Cacious centre poses for a photo with patrol commanders at GRI- RPP  Musa headquarters in Nkala GMA.

Having spent two years providing support to the senior managers at his new duty post, honing his skills and deepening his admiration for Zambia’s wildlife, Cacious re-ignited his interest in working on the ground with law enforcement teams, and decided to seek advanced training as a Community Scout. Once again, GRI necessitated his dream by supporting him undergo a 3-month Community Scout training at Chunga Wildlife Training Centre in Kafue National Park. During training, the recruits participate in a basic anti-poaching course which covers a range of topics and activities including game patrol management, community engagement, and awareness lessons. Additionally, the recruits undergo extraneous para-military decorum training to shape their mindset to proactively safeguard wildlife and other natural resources. 

After graduating as a Community Scout on December 20th, 2023, he was offered employment by the Zambian as a Wildlife Police Officer (WPO) under the Department of National Park and Wildlife (DNPW) to be stationed at Nalusanga Gate in Kafue National Park.  

Cacious Chungu third from the left (Green Uniform) poses for a picture with DNPW Wildlife Police Officers after graduating as a scout at Chunga Wildlife Training Centre in Kafue National Park

"I am delighted to join DNPW as a Wildlife Police Officer, and I owe immense gratitude to GRI for nurturing me from a Security Guard to a WPO. My journey with GRI has been filled with invaluable experiences, and as I embrace this new role, I encourage GRI to persist in empowering Rangers and local communities to preserve our precious nature," expressed Cacious. 

Cacious's journey from a determined dreamer in Chongwe District to a devoted Wildlife Police Officer is a testament to his perseverance, passion, and steadfast dedication to wildlife conservation. His narrative underscores how setbacks fuelled his resolve to protect Zambia's natural heritage. We wish him well as he embarks on this pivotal moment in his career, shifting from a managerial position to a frontline role in preserving the country's biodiversity. 

Your generous donations play a crucial role in empowering our ground-level rangers to achieve their full potential while safeguarding wildlife and wild spaces. With your support, these dedicated individuals can continue their life-saving work of protecting our natural heritage.

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