From Greater London to the greater Launceston region, wildlife ranger and former police officer Sam Lloyd has dedicated his career to helping his communities.
When he started his career in the UK as a police cadet, he was only 16.
"I didn't even have a car licence, and I was travelling to the police headquarters on the train," he said.
Eventually moving to Australia, he joined Tasmania Police and worked in a range of roles from general duties to investigations.
But it was his time working in rural towns as a "country cop" that he learned to love the Tasmanian way of life. Completing stints in the Northern Midlands, Longford, and Fingal, he developed a passion for protecting both the communities and the local wildlife.
And it led him to his current job as a wildlife ranger with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
"The work of the wildlife rangers, when I was in a country policing, was something I had always followed," he said.
Retiring from Tasmania Police last year, he took on the role of section head of the Investigations and Enforcement Section within the department's Natural and Cultural Heritage Division.
"The move from policing to becoming a wildlife ranger, within the investigations team, was certainly a meaningful positive step for me," Mr Lloyd said.
"It probably sounds a bit cheesy, but working for DPIPWE has actually exceeded my expectations."
While the wildlife investigation officers are responsible for enforcing the state's game management rules, it's not just about catching poachers. The team also protects Aboriginal heritage and enforces animal cruelty legislation.
But during hunting seasons in particular, Mr Lloyd and his fellow officers can be found out in the bush, actively patrolling, and pulling up vehicles to ensure hunters are doing the right thing. During those patrols, they often seize firearms and wildlife that has been taken illegally.
And it's not something that can be done in regular working hours, with the majority of hunting activities taking place overnight and early in the morning.
"We do patrol at fairly antisocial hours, and there's always a risk when you're pulling over cars, but we take a lot of safety precautions, and do a lot of training in managing risks.
"Legitimate, legal hunters are often pleased to see us because it's not about stopping hunting, it's just about enforcing what people can and cannot do, and that's often in the interest of those legitimate hunters.
"But for everybody that's pleased to see us, there's those that are doing the wrong thing that aren't happy."
Having experienced similar confrontations during his policing career, he said communication was a crucial skill for anyone working in enforcement.
"Communication skills are as equally important in this job as they are in policing, you should approach and speak to people as you'd want to be treated yourself and I think even people that are doing the wrong thing if you are fair and consistent and you approach them in the right way, generally the interactions are more positive."
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Enforcing those wildlife regulations has also seen him maintain a relationship with his former police colleagues.
"We do keep a fairly close relationship with Tasmania Police, there's a crossover with the work we do and they do," he said.
That crossover also takes place when they investigate animal cruelty.
"This is a space that we share with Tasmania Police, and quite often the wildlife side of the offence will often lead to offences which relate to the firearms act, whether it's possession of a firearm they shouldn't have or not having a licence, or permit to take the wildlife in the first place," Mr Lloyd said.
"So we do find quite often the wildlife offence is only the tip of the iceberg."
But the most common offences investigated by the department related to hunting and the taking of wildlife, he said.
"I suppose there is a bit of a misunderstanding with people in respect to what they can and cannot do with wildlife.
"Most animals need a permit if you are going to take them, so those are probably the more common offences we get."
While there are strict laws and heavy fines for breaching wildlife laws in Tasmania, Mr Lloyd said not all cases ended up in court.
"That's something that's really positive about this department, it's not a case of just recommending everybody for court, in some circumstances it's more suitable for us to look at educating people, letting them know what they are doing wrong and trying to change people's behaviours."
Despite dealing with the game industry on the daily, it's not something he does in his own time.
"I'm not a hunter, not a shooter," he said.
"I understand it is a huge part of the Tasmanian way of life, but I really just enjoy seeing unique species of wildlife, and I prefer to leave my interactions with the hunting scene at work."
Some of his experiences with wildlife have been more memorable than others. He recalled a trip earlier in the year where he assisted the marine conservation program with a seal count.
"We travelled by boat and I assisted the team with catching them for inspections to make sure the seal pups were healthy and that was amazing, to go somewhere that's just covered in seals and pups, it was fantastic."
The investigation team also gets a call from the marine conservation program when seals manage to make their way into suburban areas.
"Whilst we do investigations and the enforcement side of our work, we also get involved with rescues," Mr Lloyd said.
"It's nice to be involved in something where you feel like you are part of the greater good."
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