Dogs are always considered human best friends for a variety of reasons, they are smart, loyal, sometimes silly, but the most important is probably that they are always right next to you in difficult times.
In South Africa, a K9 quick response unit (special dog unit) has been used to combat wildlife poachers and defenders, and they even do this job well. much more than humans.
The South African College of Wildlife Training has trained and transferred a pack of hounds to the Greater Kruger National Park to do the job, the success rate of the dogs is about 68%, compared to success rate is three to five percent when there are no puppies around.
A group of dogs has been trained to protect wildlife since they were puppies.
This special dog unit has members from different hunting dogs and trained in Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa since they were still puppies by members from the High School. College of Wildlife South Africa.
When they grow up, they end up serving parks, reserves as well as rangers in the protection of wildlife and especially rhinos.
This K9 quick-response unit has saved 45 rhinos in South Africa from poaching. Rhinos are large-sized creatures. They have a good sense of smell and hearing but have poor eyesight. This defect limits the rhino in detecting enemies. Rhino can only avoid very large animals in the distance or small objects at very close range. In nature, we often see oxpecker birds appearing on the rhinos’ backs for an important cause. The extremely nimble, sharp-eyed bird is an early warning cry for saving rhino wings from dangerous predators.
The dogs that have been selected into this special unit have excellent bodybuilding, most of them are in the Beagle and Bloodhound, because these are extremely dynamic and durable dogs. like having a very sensitive sense of smell.
The “leader” as well as the teacher of this special K9 unit is Johan van Straaten from the South African Wildlife College, he has directly trained these dogs to be able to handle and respond. Quick to any situation that may occur during their work at Greater Kruger National Park.
This K9 quick-response unit’s mission is important because South Africa holds 80% of the world’s rhino population, so there’s no better place for managers to test this innovative idea.
In the patrol areas of the South African College of Wildlife, the dog’s mission success rate is about 68% – using both free-range patrol dogs as well as patrol dogs. Investigate using chains to go next to rangers.
Dogs are capable of tracking at a much faster rate than humans, especially outside the natural environment, with complex terrain, limited visibility, and the dog’s sense of smell. is a huge advantage. Depending on the breed, a dog’s sense of smell may be 1,000 to 10,000,000 times better than that of a human and they can hear up to four times farther than a human.
In areas where the South African Wildlife College is patrolling, the task success rate of dogs is about 68% when using both free-leash dogs and leash dogs.
Johan van Straaten said that with patrols that were only human without the help of the K9 reaction unit, the success rate was only 3 to 5%. “The project helps ensure the survival of biodiversity in southern Africa and wildlife including rhinos, which are seriously affected by hunting.”
Van Straaten said that in addition to the hunting rabbits like Beagle and Bloodhound, they also trained dogs like Texan black-and-tan coonhound, Belgian Malinois, Foxhounds, Bluetick coonhound because they are all hunting dogs, professional dogs easy to train, with good stamina, even with the Belgian Malinois, they can attack poachers even when they climb trees.
South Africa is the country hardest hit by rhino poachers, so there’s no better place for a project like this to develop.
After each 6-month training course, they gathered all the dogs to select and continue training in many different directions to be able to best serve the conservation. Often the dogs will begin their official work around 18 months of age because if earlier, the dogs are still not “mature” to handle all the pressure of actual activities in the park.