K9 dogs making difference in KPN

K9 dogs making difference in KPN

Chasing after a poacher into thick bushes has never been easy for anyone, more so if that poacher is armed with a rifle and ready to fire at anyone that poses a threat to him.

This is what the Rangers in Kruger National Park used to deal with on their daily fight against rhino poaching until recently when the park introduce K9 dogs to help Rangers hunt down poachers.

Rangers with K9 dog at KNP

According to Kally Ubisi, a Sectional Ranger in Skukuza area, out of a hundred successful arrests that Rangers have made in the park, about 90% of them happened with the help of the K9 sniffer dogs.  “Once we receive a call of an incursion, we dispatch a team with the K9 dogs backed by a helicopter, so we’re able to properly search the area where an incursion was reported,” explained Ubisi adding that the dogs were also fitted with a tracker to help monitor their movement in the bush.

According to him, each dog is allowed to track a poacher for about 8 to 10km before it is rested and replaced with another dog that curries over the tracking job until the poacher is located.

“Dogs feel more heat than we do because they are closer to the ground than us, so when it feels like it is 29degrees, they might feel the heat like the temperature was 35 degrees Celcius, hence a need to rest them when they have covered certain distances,” he said.