Save The Rhino International have published an animated infographic video designed to teach viewers about the poaching threat in Kenya and why dogs are so important for rhino protection.
Comprised of handler and dog teams, the Rhino Dog Squad plays a vital role in protecting rhinos across the Ol Jogi, Ol Pejeta, Lewa and Borana wildlife conservancies in Kenya.
The two breeds of dogs used in the Rhino Dog Squad are Bloodhounds and Belgian Malinois because of their track, scent and attack stills.
- Tracker dogs not only have an incredible sense of smell, but can also cover huge distances over difficult terrain. Handlers can find one footprint, obtain a scent and give it to the dog, which then follows the scent for up to 24-28 hours.
- Scent dogs can be trained to detect illegal substances such as rhino horn, guns or ammunition. They can be deployed at checkpoints or roadblocks and can search vehicles and property.
- Attack dogs are trained to bite and hold would-be or actual poachers, in order to disable the gun-holding arm so that handlers can safely apprehend and arrest suspects. These dogs help protect handlers and are a good deterrent to illegal activity.
They have released the video to ask for donations to maintain the Rhino Dog Squad which will help train more dogs and their handlers, provide important veterinary care, buy dog equipment such as collars, handler equipment such as binoculars, dog food and handler rations, veterinary care, animal husbandry equipment and much more.
With the rhino poaching threat increasing, it is important that the rhino conservancies have well equipped and well-trained dog units needed to stay one step ahead of the poachers.