Dogs to help curb rhino poaching

2012-04-21 11:04

Johannesburg - Dogs are to be trained to track rhino poachers in South Africa, according to a report on Saturday. "The dogs will be trained to operate out in the bush on reserves," Steve Dell from the Pilanesberg National Park told the Citizen newspaper.

"It costs R40 000 to train one dog."

Dell spoke to the publication after an auction of a painting by Parlotones drummer, Neil Pauw, to raise money for the training of two dogs.

The painting was an abstract of a black and white rhino with red horns.

The red symbolised the rhino's blood after being poached, said Pauw.

The tracker dogs would be able to track humans, detect ammunition and rhino horn, as well as protect rangers.

  • Vic - 2012-04-21 11:11

    What a great idea ! Pity it has taken so long. I'm sure there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of Citizens who would contribute to the training of these dogs. I definitely would.

      Walter - 2012-04-21 11:15

      Indeed, here's another. It think that this is a brilliant move, but the answer seems to suggest that the dogs will act independently of a handler. Don't think that's a good idea. Dogs are as vulnerable as the rhinos to gunfire. Perhaps I've read the opening paragraph incorrectly.

      TheMonk - 2012-04-21 11:59

      Sorry Vic, the unions won't allow it. Once we replace all the police with highly trained dogs, what will we do with thousands of untrained, unskilled, uneducated, now unemployed ex policemen. This canine revolution will be like the industrial revolution. Remember most of these guys only know how to pour a cup of coffe (made by somebody else) and how to eat a donut (also made by somebody else). So they cannot be redeployed to other sectors of the economy.

  • Amanda - 2012-04-21 11:15

    Good luck with this venture,but the dogs need to get to the poachers before they can do damage, Would be interesting to know what breed of dogs are to be used. How can the public get involved in this as far as donations for dogs and training?

  • Koos - 2012-04-21 11:21

    Catching the poacher AFTER the act will safe the rhino's?

      Joe - 2012-04-21 13:08

      It a start. At least it will prevent them killing more rhino and hopefully others will think twice. But yes prevention would be better. The only way I can see we would be able to do that is put all rhino in one reserve with heavy security but this isnt really viable.

      lydonmcg - 2012-04-21 14:02

      Duh. A poacher can poach more than once, you know. And it's very likely to make others think twice when they see the victim of a hungry dog.

  • eldavinn - 2012-04-21 11:21

    Build micro helicopters with heat detecting sensors with a live feed that goes to a hand held. Have the rangers where a special device that would allow them to distinguish from the other hotspots on the hand held. The dogs are a good start, but with R40 000 there is the possibility of science and technology being able to supply more sustainable solutions.

      Tanie - 2012-04-21 11:46

      Nah! eldavinn I disagree, dogs don't do tjotjo.Technology is controlled by man.

      eldavinn - 2012-04-21 12:17

      Firstly my where was suppose to be wear. There is another alternative, using samples taken directly from the Rhino horn, why not attempt to create a synthetic material that resembles the sought after compound found in the horn itself. Have a pharmaceutical company fund it as part and parcel of their "save the Rhino" campaign and sell the compound off as a product. Better yet, why not make a scholarship or a bursary available to masters students studying genetics and have them "recreate" the horn in a controlled environment. Not only does that save the Rhinos it's development for the country as well.

  • Dennis - 2012-04-21 11:23

    Firstly, replace the border fences removed by the government with a new 10000 volt fence and fence all reserves that house rhino's with the same electric fence !!

      Koos - 2012-04-21 11:27

      That will work so it is not an option.

      Jason - 2012-04-21 11:36

      I smell a tender opportunity there, so it might be considered. :-D

      eldavinn - 2012-04-21 12:18

      What will stop the animals from accidently electrocuting themselves when walking into the fence by mistake.

      merushan - 2012-04-21 13:04

      Jason your name doesn't sound black enough to win a tender in this day and age hahaha

  • Rowan Cranston - 2012-04-21 11:57

    just how many dogs are they planning on training? What size area is an acceptable patrolable area per dog? Who does the dog call for backup when he finds poachers? Who feeds the dogs when they are away on patrol? Im not getting the plan....???? dogs need handlers, we are already short of rangers. nice idea for now. i agree that parks need to go more hi-tech.

      eldavinn - 2012-04-21 12:09

      I think it will work like with Duck hunting. The dogs won't be out on the field without the rangers. "The tracker dogs would be able to track humans, detect ammunition and rhino horn, as well as protect rangers."

  • merushan - 2012-04-21 12:36

    If they can shoot a rhino,they definitely won't hesitate shooting a dog

  • Rowan Cranston - 2012-04-21 12:38

    @eldavin - yes i get what you're saying but the problem is rhinos are poached where rangers are nowhere near. Dogs are not going to prevent any poaching! @40000 per dog it sounds like a scheme.

      eldavinn - 2012-04-21 13:05

      The other question is how many dogs are they looking to train? Is the R40k what it is going to cost just for the training? What about the up keep of the dogs certainly that costs quite a bit too. There has to be a better way to cover a larger area.

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-04-21 12:39

    I dont think thats going to work rather put tiny tracking devices in the horn then the bastards can be traced and then hang them with the bastards who are buying the horn.Dogs will get poisoned.

  • catgirl1971 - 2012-04-21 12:53

    I hope these dogs will have some sort of protective 'jacket' to wear because I can see them getting shot and/or poisoned by the poachers.

  • bothma.armand - 2012-04-21 13:22

    Maybe we can train and use these dogs to sniff out and catch all the farm murderers as well. I am all for protecting our rhinos but this is nothing compared to the systematic extermination of South African farmers. It’s time the media and government start focusing their attention on the bigger issues at hand.

  • Rockafella - 2012-04-21 13:35

    are any study material text books included 4 t dogs? R40K to train a dog how 2 catch a thief? hands up we see u day light robbers...tats how u guys do it smart nt t tender way

  • Wisemad Mcmawle - 2012-04-21 16:07

    If one dog swallowed by python or attacked by lion or tiger 40k is gone unless if they are trained to fight those predators. How much it cost to train police dog?

  • phosa.peter2 - 2012-04-21 16:18

    A dog vs are kidding..R40K to train 1 dog, ,racketeering at start.

  • Rory Neil Price - 2012-04-22 13:01

    Train Lions to track poachers, no court costs, no prison costs, no bullets, and they will come out the Ikea way Flat Packed

  • Rory Neil Price - 2012-04-22 13:04

    Fanie agree, if one poised the horn, as long as it does not affect the Rhino, imagine how many Chinkies we can take down as well

  • Rory Neil Price - 2012-04-22 13:06

    Sorry poisoned

  • Sharon - 2012-04-26 12:10

    Fantastic! What a great idea and it will work! Train them also to attack the poachers and take out their throats so we don't have to bother with expensive trials and jail time at our expense!!!

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