Rhino poaching news: KZN game reserve to introduce anti-poaching dogs

Posted by Athenkosi Matyalana on 10 May 2013
&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal has announced that five specially selected dogs and their handlers will undergo an intensive 10-week training course to help fight rhino poaching in the area.  The canines, which are part of the Rhino Dogs Project established by Mechem Denel and StopRhinoPoaching.com, will be trained as human tracking and apprehension dogs and used in anti-poaching efforts.


The training course, which began on 1 May,  is funded by StopRhinoPoaching.com. &Beyond Phinda is also providing sponsored accommodation for the handlers for the duration of the course.
Two of the dogs, sponsored by Jenna Clifford and the ‘I Make a Difference’ campaign respectively, will remain at &Beyond Phinda.  The other three will be deployed to game reserves in Swaziland and to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in Mpumalanga.

Two members of the Nyathi Anti-Poaching Unit, the security team contracted by &Beyond Phinda, have been chosen to train as dog handlers. The 23 000-hectare private game reserve is not the first rhino conservation area in the country to introduce anti-poaching dogs.  Pilanesberg Game Reserve and  Kruger National Park set a precedent by introducing two Belgian Malanois dogs.

How you can help

According to a statement by the Department of  Enviromental Affairs, 249 rhinos have been poached in the first four months of this year. The numbers could continue to grow if we turn a blind eye. You can aid in the fight against poaching by identifying and reporting any suspicious behaviour that could lead to the apprehension and conviction of suspected poachers.

To report incidents of poaching and tip-offs call the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Main image by Scott  Ramsay. www.yearinthewild.com

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