Dutch tech company develops AI-powered anti-poaching camera

Posted on 2 March 2023 By Olerato Ramafsi

A Dutch technology company has developed a smart camera to tackle Africa’s widespread poaching pandemic.

An anti-poaching ranger (who may not be identified) based at Skukuza’s K9 Unit, with his German shepherds – one is trained to sniff out concealed rhino horn and ivory, the other to detect firearms and ammunition.

Hack the Planet says its artificial intelligence-powered system can help detect poachers and animals in real-time.

Engineer Thijs Suijten explained that the system contains a camera trap which has been slightly modified so that it can wirelessly communicate with a mini-computer.

‘This mini-computer downloads the images from the camera and then uses artificial intelligence to automatically classify whether there’s an animal, an elephant, or a human on the photo,’ he said.

The computer then sends the information through a satellite modem into space and directly into the ranger’s phones within minutes.

A much-needed advancement from the previous camera traps that had to be physically checked to see the recordings, making it impossible to know what was happening in real-time.

‘The system was first deployed in Gabon in 2017,’ said Suijten, ‘The focus of the project was mainly on human-wildlife conflict, more specifically, human-elephant conflict.’

Elephants were increasingly breaking into plantations owned by local farmers and destroying them, taking out the livelihood of the locals.

‘This is where we deployed eight of these cameras to create an early warning system so that rangers and locals know that elephants are approaching a village.’

The smart camera system is hoped to provide anti-poaching units with early warnings of imminent danger to help protect the wildlife in Africa’s national parks.

A cellphone sensor device is also being tested, which detects nearby SIM cards, a sign of poachers being present in remote areas.

The tech start-up has tested the boxes in the Netherlands, Gabon, and Slovenia and is now using them in real-life anti-poaching efforts.

Picture: Getaway Gallery

Watch the video below:

Follow us on social media for more travel news, inspiration, and guides. You can also tag us to be featured. 

TikTok | Instagram Facebook Twitter

ALSO READ: Large pack of wild dogs swim across river in flooded Greater Kruger


yoast-primary - 1004439
tcat - Conservation
tcat_slug - conservation-environment
tcat2 - Wildlife
tcat2_slug - wildlife
tcat_final - environment