Retired Military Airplanes Protect African Wildlife

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In the wide, wild spaces of Africa, it's tough to enforce the laws that protect wildlife from poaching. But that effort is getting a boost thanks to retired military aircraft that have been donated by several countries to help the cause. So far, eight airplanes have been donated by Israeli, U.S. and French aviation agencies, with more in the works, MediaLine reports. Bill Clark, chief of Interpol's Working Group on Wildlife Crime, has led an ad hoc group of volunteers to restore the retired aircraft and raise funds for the project. Poaching is still a major threat to elephant and rhinoceros populations in Africa. Interpol is now sponsoring the restoration of an Israel air force Super Cub, which will be delivered to Kenya in the next year for use in poacher patrol. It can take as long as a year for a volunteer crew to completely restore an airplane, Clark told MediaLine. "It's a hobby. We do it on our Saturdays. Some people play golf; we save elephants," he said.