Dogs used to fight rhino poachers in Kruger

23 October 2012 - 18:27 By Sapa
Anti-poaching dog Russell, with his handler, protecting rhinos at the Pilanesburg Nature Reserve. File photo.
Anti-poaching dog Russell, with his handler, protecting rhinos at the Pilanesburg Nature Reserve. File photo.
Image: Jacaranda FM

Tracking dogs were introduced into the Kruger National Park (KNP) on Tuesday to step up the fight against rhino poaching, KNP said.

"We are doing everything in our ability as [SA National Parks] SANParks to stop this pandemic that we are currently facing as a country," spokesman William Mabasa said at a passing-out parade in Skukuza.

"The introduction of these dogs to our anti-rhino poaching unit is one of the efforts that we are putting in place. We hope that our rangers will put them to good use."

The five dogs underwent an intensive 10-week training programme, where they were introduced to the bush, learned how to track human scent, to protect team members, sniff out rhino horn and detect ammunition.

The dogs would be placed under the guidance of field rangers, who had been trained as dog handlers.

They would be deployed at Malelane, Letaba, Houtboschrand, Mahlangeni and Woodlands.

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