The South African government has begun training an army of dogs to try and stop the country’s increasingly active rhino poachers.
Poachers of the African rhino are a huge problem, and they have already killed 1,020 creatures in South Africa in 2014.
That number is rising year on year: according to the WWF, 5 years ago that figure was just over 10% of what it is this year.
Authorities have previously tried introducing more rangers on patrol and drone surveillance techniques but they have struggled to make much of an impact.
Wilhelm Hendrick Holsthyzen, the CEO of K9 Security Solutions, told The Independent that well-trained dogs are the best option.
“In the fight against rhino poaching, the dog’s nose has proved invaluable in finding poachers,” he said. “Our human trackers, which rely solely on their eyesight, cannot see spore due to environmental conditions – be that very thick vegetation or rocky outcrops. The dog’s sense of smell has proven superior in scenarios like that.”
The Paramount Group Anti-Poaching training academy will specialise in training dogs to engage and capture poachers.
South Africa is home to approximately 80 per cent of the world’s wild rhino population, with an estimated 20,000 in the country. If 1,000 have been killed this year, that’s a pretty scary chunk of the population.
The rhino horn is popular as it is highly sought after in traditional Asian medicine, that is despite there being no proof that it has any medical value. Accoriding to The Atlantic some Vietnamese people pay up to $300,000 for a rhino horn. Why? Because of a myth that it will cure cancer.
Learn more about the problem by watching this video
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