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Media Release: The new face of counter-poaching

Date: 2012-03-23

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In the recent years poaching has become the brutal business of well armed criminals slaughtering our precious rhino population for the sake of money. Counter poaching measures which were put in place to confront this onslaught needed to respond to gangs of heavily armed poachers. Until recently the face of counter poaching was that of an armed ranger putting his life on the line for our rhinos. But now counter poaching has a new face.


Three Foxhounds, called Kombi, Jetta and Chico, have become the first of a new generation of crime fighters entering the poaching war on the side of our rhinos. They are busy completing the initial phase of their training, and are making excellent progress. They have shown above average abilities, and have already learnt to ignore animal spoor in favour of their human quarry. They are busy with a daily tracking routine which already has them tracking people with a 90% success rate. They are well balanced, keen and boisterous and are displaying an eagerness to track which bodes well for their futures.

The operational phase of their training starts during March, and promises to be very intense. Here they will have to learn to operate as a unit with their human handlers in wilderness situations, often facing wild animals and working under dangerous circumstance. Completing this, they will be operational in Kruger National Park well before the end of the year. You can track their progress here: Tracker dogs

The SANParks Honorary Rangers decided to sponsor this project with a R43 000 sponsorship through the Unite Against Poaching project, to help increase the efficiency of counter poaching teams. The dogs will be deployed as part of a rapid reaction team, which can be on the scene of a poaching incident within minutes. These tracker dogs will enable counter poaching teams to track poachers much faster and efficiently, preventing them from escaping capture by fleeing across the borders of the park with their bloody loot.

The three ladies are named after well know Volkswagen vehicles in honour of the Unitrans Volkswagen and Audi division, which came on board to help provide the necessary financial backing for this effort. They are at home in their comfortable new kennels, and are being well looked after.

These tail wagging bundles of energy are sure to turn into a poachers’ worst nightmare. Welcome to the new face of counter poaching!

counter-poaching dogs

Photo attached: 
The new faces of counter-poaching: Kombi, Jetta & Chico 

jetta counter-poaching dog

Photo attached: 
Jetta, the counter-poaching Foxhound

Issued by:
SANParks Honorary Rangers

Media queries:
Louis Lemmer
National Executive Committee: Public Relations & Communication
Tel: 012 567 5580 






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