Another Kazakh ranger killed by saiga poachers

On 23 July 2019 Kanysh Nurstasinov from Okhotzooprom was killed by saiga poachers. A second ranger, Samat Ospanov, was severely wounded. This is the second such incident this year.

Kanysh Nurtazinov.jpg
Okhotzooprom ranger Kanysh Nurtazinov died at the hands of saiga poachers in July 2019.

On 23 July 2019
, two rangers of the “Okhotzooprom” were under fire from saiga poachers while pursuing them in the steppe of Kazakhstan. One of them, Kanysh Nurtazinov, passed away on the way to hospital. His colleague, Samat Ospanov, had an emergency surgery and his condition is now assessed as stable. The incident happened in the Zharkainskiy district of Aqmola region about 275 km from the capital Nur-Sultan.


According to reports from Okhotzooprom, two ranger cars followed the poachers, who started firing at the rangers' car after they had been chased for some time. The rangers in the second vehicle organised help for their wounded colleagues. While the poachers could escape, police managed to react quickly and arrest two suspected individuals the same day. 

This abrupt and tragic death leaves a family with 5 children without a father and breadwinner. 

On 25 July
, the President of Kazakhstan awarded Kanysh Nurtazinov posthumously with the ‘Aibyn’ Order of Honour of the highest degree for bravery. The second ranger, Samat Ospanov, received his order in hospital from the responsible Minister of ecology, geology and natural resources Magzum Mirzagaliev.


This is the second case of a death of a ranger from the hands of poachers in this year in Kazakhstan after the first ever happened incident at the beginning of 2019. In January, 53 years old Yerlan Nurgaliyev died after poachers had attacked him and his partner. The President of Kazakhstan awarded him posthumously “Barys” order of the third degree.


Additional information

Okhotzooprom is a government agency for the conservation, restoration and survey of the number of saigas, rare and endangered species of wild ungulates in Kazakhstan.

The Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative (ADCI) is a joint initiative of the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan, the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan, Fauna & Flora International, Frankfurt Zoological Society, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, implemented primarily by the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan with support from all partners, that complements the work of the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan. Under the initiative, many projects have been and are currently implemented with support from various partners.