Fighting poaching has been a dangerous and difficult road for rangers in Central Africa.

“It’s literally like finding a needle in a haystack right? Because you never know where someone is,” said Tim van Deursen, founder of Hack the Planet.

New technology from a Dutch start-up could help rangers catch poachers red-handed.

“We developed a smart camera system that can in real-time track down people or animals in huge remote areas,” said Hack the Planet engineer Thijs Suijten.

These smart cameras use artificial intelligence to quickly identify what’s in the picture and instantly send the images to rangers’ smartphones, allowing them to act quickly.

Traditional cameras have meant waiting months to see what’s happening in the wild.

“Rangers have to go to these cameras every six months to replace the batteries and then collect the memory card and then they can see what is on the photo,” said Suijten.

Solar power runs these AI cameras, which are also designed to protect hungry elephants known to destroy plantations and livelihoods.

“When our cameras detect an elephant, the alarm goes off and then we hope that elephants will automatically be chased away from the village,” said Suijten.

Dozens of smart camera traps have been deployed in parks around the world to give conservationists the best shot at protecting endangered animals.