In January 2021, the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Canine Unit welcomed four 18-month-old female Belgian Malinois to the team to help us fight against wildlife crime.
The dogs, Reaper, Nala, Bekah, and Kesatobo (Kesa) originated in the USA and are on long-term working loan to us from Global Conservation Force (GCF), a US based conservation NGO. Before arriving at the EWT’s Conservation Campus, the dogs underwent initial training at Kilo9 Kennels (Kilo9 Academy) in Hoedspruit, where they showed great potential as Conservation Canines.
Since they arrived at the EWT, EWT has continued to develop their skills and have now determined their aptitudes: three will be used as tracking dogs in reserves containing threatened wildlife (rhino, elephant, pangolin) and one will be used as a detection dog to sniff-out wildlife contraband at OR Tambo and other strategic locations.
During November 2021, two of the tracking dogs were assigned to their new reserve handlers and have now been deployed to the reserves to get to work. We are not able to divulge the reserve names for security purposes. This deployment was made possible by funding from IUCN Save Our Species and the European Union. The two remaining dogs will start working in January 2022.
Written by EWT Communications Team
📸 1 – 3 – Shadi Henrico
📸 4 – Chrisjan Visser