Rhino poaching and the illegal hunting of elephants and other wild animals has brought wildlife conservationists to their knees.
Reserve wardens and field rangers are continuously evolving their methods to combat the rising threat to wildlife, and just this is a full-time job! Anti-poaching rangers are trained in armed law enforcement and tactical, clandestine operations so that they can anticipate and respond to ever-changing poaching antics.
Now more than ever, anti-poaching units are adding specially trained tracking dogs to their toolkits, and it is changing the game!
Naturally, as animal enthusiasts, we love the idea of dogs working to protect rhinos. These hounds are living their best lives, bonding with their human handlers, and working for the greatest reward. And what’s more is that their presence in anti-poaching is dramatically increasing the number of apprehensions and arrests of poachers.
Statistics show that field rangers who work with a K9 unit are ten times more successful in catching poachers.
Dogs in K9 units are trained in detection of human scent and wildlife products (rhino horn, ivory horn, pangolin scales, etc.). A variety of different dog breeds are used, such as Belgian Malinois, beagle, fox hound, bloodhound, and mixed breed coonhounds, which are traditional hunting dogs.
Field rangers have historically been trained to work with on-leash tracking dogs, which are still widely used as an invaluable addition to any anti-poaching unit.
In more recent years, the use of off-leash, free-running tracking dogs has been introduced to the anti-poaching sector and it has multiplied the impact of these teams. The difference is that these incredible law enforcement trained dogs work in a pack and without being guided by a human. The hounds take off on a scent trail and can run at high speeds and cover over ten miles. Now that there are these speedy anti-poaching dogs on the ground, poachers have even less chance of getting away and rhinos stand a better chance of survival.
Invictus K9 is one of the charities we’ve partnered with and we are bowled over by the amazing work they do training anti-poaching dogs. This organisation has established specialised K9 units in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa. Their specially trained dogs work to track suspected poachers and search for illegal wildlife products, firearms and ammunition.
Our beaded charity bracelet for this organisation is one of our most popular designs. The stone is Regalite, which was chosen because it suits the colouration of the Belgian Malinois. It is a beaded bracelet with a size-adjustable draw-string finish, just like all our charity bracelet styles, and has a little paw-print pendant to make it unique.
Every time you purchase our Invictus K9 charity bracelet, we donate HALF (50%) of what you pay to this amazing organisation. All those dollars add up to help anti-poaching units all over Africa become even better by adding man’s best friend to their teams.
This is one small way you can help the brave and courageous fight to mitigate rhino poaching and #WearYourKarma!
Written by Chloe Cooper