The ‘war on poaching’, as it is often called, is one of the most visible and concerted campaigns magnifying the contested politics of eviction and exclusion imbuing African conservation and ecology. Anti-poaching efforts are ostensibly aimed at protecting a variety of species, but the most intensive efforts focus on the illegal hunting of elephants and rhinos due to their ivory tusks and horns, which are highly valued commodities on the black market as there are currently no legal markets for these items.1 Park rangers and anti-poaching scouts, using police and military tactics and technologies, play important roles in the war on poaching as they go about hunting, quite literally, human prey who themselves are hunters, or ‘poachers’, of wildlife (see also Jasper’s chapter, this volume). Although estimates vary and are said to be unreliable, it is believed that hundreds of poachers have been killed by anti-poaching units in the last few years, with some instances of poachers bodies being mutilated (Lombard 2012). A comment made by Jonathan Adams and Thomas McShane in their book, The Myth of Africa, written over 20 years ago, has proven prophetic: ‘If current trends continue, the war on poaching may soon resemble the war in Vietnam: a massive, well-armed force struggles in vain against a poor but unyielding foe’ (1992: 130). Ivor Ichikowitz, chairman of Paramount, Africa’s largest private defence firm has stated, ‘this [poaching] is a war. You cannot take a stick to a gunfight’ (Govender 2012). This quotation, one of many using the language of war, tellingly demonstrates how anti-poaching efforts are most often framed as a justifiable and necessary response to increasingly well-armed, brutal poachers – while simultaneously framing this war against poachers as primarily a narrow issue that can only be approached through coercive security measures. Yet importantly, as Rosaleen Duffy (2000) points out in Killing

for Conservation, her book on the violence of conservation in Zimbabwe, military and police forces have long been poachers of wildlife themselves.