Addo’s anti-poaching dogs get their own obstacle course

Posted on 28 October 2019

K9 units play an important role in SANParks’ anti-poaching campaign, and to keep its dogs fit and in top form, Addo Elephant National Park has installed an obstacle course.

Addo’s anti-poaching dog squad is comprised of of four pooches and courses like the one just installed have been proven to help reinforce basic obedience, improve dog-owner communication and ultimately help to improve dogs’ behaviour outside of the agility course.

In total, SANParks has 80 working dogs across its parks in South Africa, all of whom contribute immensely to anti-poaching operations – 90% of all captured poachers have been caught thanks to the K9 units.

Also read: Free-running K9 unit captures more poachers

The K9 Watchdog National Project is an initiative run by the SANParks Honorary Rangers, which has been in operation across South Africa for the past seven years. Since its inception, the project has achieved enormous success in supporting rhino and elephant conservation efforts.

According to SANParks, ‘the dogs’ incredible scenting abilities are undeniable – wherever they operate, the poaching figures drop and the arrest rate rises’.

These well-trained hounds are perfectly suited to track poachers in the field and detect firearms, ammunition and wildlife that enter and exit through park gates. Remarkably, the dogs can follow a scent that’s already hours-old over impressive distances.

Currently, Addo’s K9 unit is used regularly to search vehicles at the Park’s entry and exit gates and to do general patrols.

The new obstacle course at Addo was made possible through donations from local business owners in Port Elizabeth and with the assistance of the Park’s Honorary Rangers.

Images supplied

Also read:

Addo appoints first female Head of Conservation

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