A question we are asking ourselves every day is what does it take to stop all this? Rhino poaching at this level hasn’t been happening long enough for someone to stand up and say “this will actually work”, and as the anti-poaching operations are advancing so are the poachers. We strongly believe that right now, getting between the animal and the poacher is the most important step to win this war and to actually save lives in the bush.
In the operations of anti-poaching, dogs is a new and successful tool. Working dogs are used for 3 main purposes: patrol, detection and tracking.
Patrol dogs walk in the bush with handlers, sweep for snares, carcasses, spoor or any unusual activity. Patrol dogs help rangers in the field to pick up sounds and movement of potential threats. They also do visible patrols on fence lines as a deterrent, to make people aware of the use of dogs in the area.
Detection dogs (sniffer dogs) are trained to sniff out any target that they are trained on. For anti-poaching, it will mostly be gunpowder, ammunition and firearms as well as rhino horn, ivory or other parts of animals. Detection dogs does a massive difference at the reserve gates to smell out firearms going in.
Tracking dogs are used to aid the rangers and ground units in tracking a scent left in tracks of humans or animals the units wants to follow. Tracking dogs obviously help the ground units follow spoor faster, to catch up with poachers and apprehend them. They can also be used for tracking rhinos for monitoring.
If onlookers – potential poachers – see patrol dogs walking the fence, word will spread that there are dogs and the area which may help to deter poachers.
Dogs are one of the most efficient tools in anti-poaching. The anti-poaching operations in Kruger National Park have proved that the input of trained dogs have a big impact on following spoors and making arrests. There, a anti-poaching dog have alone caught over 115 groups of poachers over the last 4 years. Dogs do not see color or money, and they do not take bribes. All they want is a “good boy” to play with, a ball and love from the handler.
Dog patrols are useful in order to:
Follow up and spot actual suspected poachers.
Quickly deploy ground rangers where there’s animals in need.
Kilo9 Kennels is Wildhoods partner
The Kilo9 Kennels is a newly established kennel based in the Greater Kruger Area, South Africa. TheKilo9 Kennels is founded by dedicated, certified dog handlers whose mission is to train working dogs to assist the fight against poaching. The dogs will support the reserves in the Greater Kruger Area with the security needed to keep poachers away from the wild animals. Wildhood Foundation is the kennel’s main sponsor and support the team with funds to expand their kennels, train more dogs and to eventually deter and arrest poachers.
Kennel Wish List
- Quality dog food (Hills, Royal Canine and similar)
- Hair brushes
- Toys (tugs and balls)
- Flea and tick treatment (Bravecto)
- Sleeping pillows/cushion/dog beds
- Dog stretchers
- Specialized training equipment
- Veterinary aid
The funds raised by Wildhood to support the kennel will go straight to fund the dogs training, equipment and well being.
Sponsor 1 dog for a year = 24.000 SEK
Rhino Task Team
Kilo9 Kennels will ultimately support The Rhino Task Team, created by Vincent Barkas the Founder of Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit. With the rhino poaching figures climbing higher, Vincent knew that being behind the fence lines was not enough to win this war. Teams on the roads and a team dedicated to obtaining vital information about the poachers was much needed. Protrack realized the only way to make the idea a reality was creating a non-profit team and raise funds to run the team.
Since 2013 the Rhino Task Team have been active every day and making a large number of arrests. The Task Team are used as reaction team and hot line for any Rhino incidents in the area. Their Anti-Poaching rangers are fully trained, fully armed and run 24hours a day. They are the only NPO that have a fantastic Intel and investigation team as well as great connections in the anti poaching industry including SANPARKS.
Every day, their task team mission out into the bush fully equipped and fully armed to prevent our rhinos and other threatened species from dying. Going into the bush day or night is not a safe job, they are risking their lives walking the same paths as dangerous game such as lion and elephants and not to mention armed poachers. Anti-poaching dogs will give them yet another tool to succeed in this war.
Other types of patrols we support at Wildhood
Aerial surveillance aircrafts are used to assist with the locating of poachers and animals to quickly deploy ground rangers to the spot. Aircrafts is crucial element in order to cover big areas and direct ground units to the right areas. Read more here!
Rangers have extreme skills in visual tracking, which remains the primary means of gathering information about criminal activities in their protected area. Read all about the important work they do here.
Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino has died. This means that the northern white rhino sub-species is now extinct.
The fate of the subspecies northern white rhino rests on Sudan’s ability to conceive with the only two females left and with him being gravely ill, fears are rising that the subspecies is closer than ever to extinction.
Today, South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs revealed the official number of rhinos poached during 2017.