Dogs are highly-exceptional creatures because they can be trained to do exceptional jobs. From drug-sniffing canines to therapy dogs and even sniffing out health problems, dogs offer assistance in a wide range of aspects. And in South Africa, a group of handpicked pooches is being trained for a vital task.
South Africa has always had an enormous problem with poachers. The place is home to nearly all rhinoceros on the planet, accounting for 80% of the entire rhino population. This is why, for the past decade, almost 8,000 rhinos have died related directly to poaching activities. Thankfully, with the creation of a K9 group protecting this endangered wildlife, these numbers are going down.
Trained since birth
The dogs chosen for this critical mission is picked and trained while they are still puppies. It spans several breeds, including the Belgian Malinois, Coonhounds, Blue Ticks, Foxhounds, and more. Their anti-poaching training will have different courses in detection, patrol, incursion, tracking, and apprehension. Usually, they are ready to do their tasks when they reach 18 months.
When they are put to work, they will use their keen sense of smell to locate suspects on the run. They will lead human enforcers to where the suspects are. This means they will accompany a team while on petrol or stay in stations where they are ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.
The program was started in 2018 and since then has saved 45 Rhinos from poachers. Because of their speed and acute senses, they have successfully prevented poaching many times and have led enforcers to capture suspects.
Their human counterparts say that with the K9 team around, they have had the upper hand against these illegal killing of Rhinos. They are better than humans in certain aspects in the protection of this endangered species. The arrest of more than 100 poachers since 2018 has been unprecedented.
Source: Pets Ya – Stories via Youtube