Animal Populations Decimated By Poaching
Wildlife poaching has reached epidemic proportions. Several species of all kinds are on the brink of extinction due to poaching. An estimated 100 elephants are killed each day by poachers and if it continues at this rate the African elephant could be extinct by the end of this decade. Rhinos populations are also being decimated due to poaching. More than a 1,000 rhinos are killed each year. Mystical and false beliefs have naive people believing that consuming the rhino horn will cure cancer and prevent hangovers. (However, not to insult any beer connoisseurs because I too love a good IPA, but the best approach to preventing a hangover – is to not consume alcohol!!).
Strategies To Stop Poaching and Anti-Poaching Dogs
Wildlife conservationists are implementing several strategies to battle poachers. Drones, hidden cameras, and satellite imagery provide added support to anti-poaching efforts. We can also add a furry, four-legged animal to that list of helpers. Canines are being used for tracking and ‘hunting’ down poachers with much success.
Two “Hero” Canines Trained to Stop Poachers
Two anti-poaching dogs have received recent media attention and applause due to their efforts and services with literary putting many poachers out of business.
Ruger – The “Bad Dog”
Ruger was referred to as a “bad dog” because of his personality. He barked a lot and some thought he was aggressive. But this was just the kind of personality and high drive traits that Megan Parker was looking for according to The Guardian. Megan is the director of research at Working Dogs for Conservation in Montana where they train dogs to track down poachers. Eager to help lead the charge against poaching, Ruger became the first anti-poaching dog in Zambia. He has gone from being a “bad dog” to being called a “hero” and is credited with catching over 150 poachers!
Another dog that is being hailed as an anti-poaching hero goes by the menacing name of ‘K9 Killer’. When authorities are alerted to rhino poaching activities in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, K9 Killer and his handler are airlifted to that spot by helicopter. Then they take off after the poachers on foot. K9 Killer has successfully hunted down dozens of poachers which has saved the lives of hundreds of rhinos. In January of 2016, K9 Killer received the PDSA Gold Medal award for his services and devotion.