New dog to sniff out rhino horns

2012-03-26 14:38

Johannesburg - Sniffer dogs appear set to become the rhinos’ best friend and a major contributor to the fight against poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products.

Hot on the heels of the introduction of Jack, a Belgian Shepherd, being trained by Stop Rhino Poaching as part of a project to use sniffer dogs in game reserves, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has welcomed a “new staff member”, wildlife sniffer dog Rico from Germany, who will be placed on duty at OR Tambo International Airport’s car and baggage sections.

The 2-year-old Belgian Malinois - a breed which is said to have an extraordinary sense of smell and a high work drive - will soon be introduced to his handler.

Though already trained to search for and detect scents, he will now undergo training specifically to sniff out rhino horn, ivory, abalone and other wildlife products.

As he matures, new scents of other threatened species affected by illegal trade and smuggling will be added to his olfactory repertoire, the trust said.

Rico is funded by the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust and will be deployed as part of a partnership between the EWT and African Consultants for Transport Security.

EWT said the rhino poaching crisis had demonstrated that there is no single solution to addressing illegal wildlife trade, estimated to be the third-largest illegal industry worldwide after drugs and human trafficking.

  • Justin - 2012-03-26 14:47

    thats brilliant!!!!

      Squeegee - 2012-03-26 16:00

      Now we need dogs who can sniff out corrupt officials. Oops, no that would not work - SPCA would never allow dogs to work that hard.

  • natasha.wentink - 2012-03-26 14:48

    Excellent news! A step in the right direction. Let's put a stop to the senseless brutal killing of our wildlife!

  • Howard - 2012-03-26 14:51

    and yet we have top trained sniffer dogs here. For the bush, we have trained air scenting dogs for years and backed up the police with great results.

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-26 14:53

    Why a German dog, Thoughts are that an RSA dog would have been best suited to the cause....hehehehehee

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-03-26 15:08

    Why ar u telling wild life smugglers that very soon u will have a very good security member of staff at OR airport!!!. criminals will move their evil deeds into shipping after all its their prefered method!!!

  • Pats - 2012-03-26 17:34

    @Howard you are So Right.....I too have Questioned why they Had to Import a Dog From Germany, Having said That It is to Be Noted Malinoios are Breed Specifically for this Type of Climate And their Sense Of Smell, a dog Can only Be Imprinted on 12 Scents..Perhaps They need too look at Our Top Breeders of Malainois here in RSA for their Next Source Of Malinois..Me Thinks...Blood Lines here are Equal to that of the Rest of the World.Oh And By the Way there ar Malinois out there working in Anti Poaching Units....Fact Not Fiction.....

  • Stephen - 2012-03-27 04:14

    Really happy to hear the WAR on RHINO POACHING is stepping up a gear,we have to stay ahead of these culprits at all costs.The more pressure the better the result in the ongoing struggle.

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