Before becoming a ranger, I was a businessman and traded goods between the Congo and Burundi. I often met ivory traders and learned a lot about the poaching networks. In 1985, the rangers at the Rwindi Station were looking for a way to stop the ivory trade, so I decided to offer my services.
I began working with the anti-poaching team. Our mission was to stop the ivory traders that I had come to know so well. I was based in Mutsora and we had many early successes, including the confiscation of 30 weapons in the northern sector, as well as a lot of confiscated ivory. It was rewarding work, but also dangerous since I was making a lot of enemies. Once, on my way back from handing in a report at park headquarters, my car was attacked. I was able to escape into the bush, but not before getting hit by two bullets — one in my left leg and another that shattered my right hand. I was rescued by soldiers, but I had to spend eight months in the hospital.