“We will never stop poachers but we will make it as difficult as we can with all the resources we have.”
Our canine friends are key in the fight against poaching!
GKEPF works closely with a number of different teams in our efforts to stop poaching activities taking place in the Greater Kruger Park area; and the ultimate field ranger team will have a canine unit attached to it. In other words, our friend the dog plays an invaluable role in preventing wildlife crime.
GKEPF’s partner the Southern African Wildlife College’s K9 Unit has three operational units utilising Pack Hounds (Tracking), Malinois and German Sherperds (Tracking and Apprehension) and Beagles (Incursion Work).
So, what is the role of a counter-poaching dog? Many know that our canine friends have an excellent sense of smell. With this skill, dogs can track a scent to help locate poachers on the move. After a poaching incident, they can lead rangers and enforcement authorities to poachers, or at least help establish the routes used. Dogs can also detect wildlife products, and many are stationed to ‘sniff out’ rhino horn at key locations, such as transport hubs and at park gates. The work carried out by these brave and loyal animals requires skill, endurance and, at times, can be dangerous.