Meet the dogs being trained to combat poaching in South Africa
Photo Cred: CNN - Inside Africa

The dogs are proving to be extremely effective, and the team are considered the best anti-poaching unit on the continent.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (2 March 2020) – This week on Inside Africa, CNN International meets the dedicated canine unit on the frontlines of the fight to protect wildlife. Kruger National Park, South Africa’s biggest and best-known game park, has been the epicentre of rhino poaching for decades. New technologies are constantly being unleashed to combat poaching, but using hunting dogs, a method thousands of years old, is also proving effective.

Theresa Sowry, CEO of the Southern African Wildlife College, speaks about the role of dogs in preventing poaching today, “We have to develop and design new tools and what is nice about a dog is that it’s an old tool, it’s just been applied in a new sense, and they really are having a fantastic impact on poaching today.”

These dogs have become the foot soldiers in the fight against poaching. Anne Kruger, who works in the K9 Conservation Unit, describes how the dogs react positively to their work.

“They find great joy out of doing what they are born and meant to do, which is hunting. And they love having that bond with a handler as well, they need to have a purpose.”

The dogs are proving to be extremely effective, and the team are considered the best anti-poaching unit on the continent.

Ike Phaahla, the Communications and Marketing Manager at Kruger National Park, stresses the effectiveness of the hunting dogs, “Over 90% of the arrests that have been effected thus far in the Kruger National Park since 2011 have been through the assistance of the canine unit.”

Special training facilities have now been established around the country to equip canines with the skills they need to help the conservation effort.

Eric Ichikowitz, Senior Vice President of the Paramount Group, explains the wide-reach of his company’s training facility in Rustenburg, “Our canine training facility has deployed dogs right throughout the African continent, both in law enforcement as well as anti-poaching operations. We’ve deployed dogs as far afield as Malaysia, so our footprint is quite wide and diverse.”

The story of dogs in what is now Kruger National Park goes back almost 150 years to ‘Jock’, perhaps the most famous dog in Southern Africa. His true story was immortalised in the book “Jock of the Bushveld” by South African author Sir James ‘Percy’ Fitzgerald who told of his travels with the dog in the late 1800s.

Lazarus Mkhonto, Manager of the Jock Safari Lodge, talks about the book’s legacy, “The dog became the main character with its braveness, and it saved Fitzpatrick on so many numerous occasions out here, (Jock Safari Lodge) is the actual location where they used to stop.”

As the battles continue in the war on poaching, the dog handlers are optimistic about the project’s chances, with one telling CNN, “The issue of predicting that this war will end, I don’t know. But we are one step, I think we are ten steps even, ahead of the poachers now, I think we are winning.”

Meet the dogs being trained to combat poaching in South Africa


Sources: CNN 
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens or share your good news with us by clicking here
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *