Addo’s ranger dogs receive bulletproof vests

2017-05-10 06:00
From left are Vusumzi Nxamleko (Dog Handler), Anban Padayachee (Section Ranger), Gerrit Lamprecht (Quemic Director), Henry Ainslie (Ballistic Body Armour International Sales Manager), Nikki Haynes (Quemic Regional Ranger), Mzwandile Mjadu (Park Manager) and Raghoo Saterdag (Environmental Monitor), with Addo’s two dogs, Bullet and Banshee.        Photo:SUPPLIED

From left are Vusumzi Nxamleko (Dog Handler), Anban Padayachee (Section Ranger), Gerrit Lamprecht (Quemic Director), Henry Ainslie (Ballistic Body Armour International Sales Manager), Nikki Haynes (Quemic Regional Ranger), Mzwandile Mjadu (Park Manager) and Raghoo Saterdag (Environmental Monitor), with Addo’s two dogs, Bullet and Banshee. Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE two canine members of Addo Elephant National Park’s (AENP) ranger corps are now just as protected from life-threatening situations as their human counterparts thanks to the donation of bulletproof vests from integrated risk solutions company, Quemic.

In addition to the vests, the company also donated two trauma/first-aid kits specifically for the dogs, as well as dog food for an entire year.

Quemic’s Regional Ranger in the Western Cape, Nikki Haynes, was born in Addo when his father, Mike, was the Hospitality Services Manager in the Park.

Mike heard about Addo’s need for the donated items at a demonstration with the dogs about two months ago and thought it was an ideal opportunity for Haynes to become involved as Quemic already provides firearm training to SANParks’ Environmental Monitors.

The company is also involved in anti-rhino poaching operations with private landowners and other nature conservation agencies.

Quemic Director Gerrit Lamprecht and Haynes were there to hand the safety equipment and food over to the dogs and their handlers in the park. The vests, trauma/first-aid kits and food is valued at over R130 000.

“If one is personally involved in nature conservation, as we are through our business, you know the landscape and try to help wherever you can.

“All of us in the nature fraternity need to look out for one another, irrespective of the size of our organisations. And for me, personally, this was just the perfect fit, given my history with and in Addo,” said Haynes.

Addo’s two canine rangers, Banshee and Bandit, are about five years old and provide sniffing and tracking support to the rangers. Bandit, provided to AENP by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, and Banshee will now be kitted out in their bullet-proof vests while on duty, to protect them from gunshot wounds and knife attacks.

Their handlers will be given training on how to use the dogs’ trauma/first-aid kits, which are advanced enough to sustain them until they reach a veterinarian.

AENP’s Conservation Manager, John Adendorff, said, “We cannot tell you how grateful we are for your handover. We want to give our dogs everything we can to ensure their safety, as we do with our rangers. They are integral to our operations and today’s sponsorship ensures that they have the best protection when they’re in the field.”

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