Free-running K9 unit captures more poachers

Posted on 22 February 2019

The South African Wildlife College’s free-running K9 anti-poaching unit have yet again proved themselves by apprehending two poachers in the Kruger National Park on 19 February.

The free running packs (which are off lead) are relatively new to South Africa, as previously dogs on a lead were successfully used. The method of free-run tracking has proved helpful to the anti-poaching task force units in the Kruger National Park. The task force included the free-running K9 unit, field rangers and aerial pilots.

The suspected poachers were arrested and their weapons confiscated before any animals were killed.

The canines were brought in from Texas last year, from a long line of dogs specially trained to track human scent. Last July on their first live run, the dogs successfully captured a poacher. Again, they proved themselves worthy for the job.

The free-running dogs can track humans at high speeds, over tricky land, and can run at 40km per hour. Aerial support is necessary to keep an eye on the dogs.

The speed of the dogs combined with the efforts of the task force help make up for lost time when tracking poachers on the run.


Watch the South African Wildlife College’s K9 unit in action below.

Featured image: South African Wildlife College

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