(Canines Safeguarding Our Legacy)
A recent addition to the anti-poaching team has been 3 new German Shepherd dogs. The dogs have been trained by the SOUL Trust to be used in the Anti poaching team at Bubye Valley Conservancy.
Whilst the Bubye Valley Conservancy Anti-Poaching Unit boasts some of the best individual trackers alive, modern anti-tracking techniques, terrain and weather can cause a loss of momentum while tracking poachers. Canine teams can enhance the follow-up, identify start areas/break-ins and can be used to provide additional evidence in the apprehension, leading to longer sentences. The dogs can be trained to multi-task, such as identify rhino horn, ivory, snares, bush meat and as well as track.
The various capabilities include:
This capability can be deployed in one of two roles: intelligence led entry points are identified and the canine team can be employed to track the poachers prior to them harvesting illegal goods; the team can also be used immediately after poachers have illegally harvested wildlife goods, ensuring a faster follow-up element that will increase the anti-poaching team’s chances of apprehending the criminals.
The canine will search an open area for a target odour (ivory, rhino horn) off leash under direct control of the handler. The canine will identify the target odour with a passive indication.
The canine team can be deployed to strategic areas to conduct searches of vehicles. This capability will allow the canines to provide both a visual and psychological deterrent as well as limiting access routes to poachers forcing them to find alternative means.
Canine teams can be deployed to airports, bus terminals and ferry ports to conduct searches of personal belongings that may be used to transport illegal wildlife goods.