By Clarissa Hughes – Group Positive Impact Co-ordinator
Meet the Unit
The Dog Tracker Unit is made up of elite wildlife rangers who work closely with a set of highly trained dogs. Each unit has two dogs and three handlers who live and work closely together.
These dogs are used in nine national parks and community-based conservation areas. They shine at tracking poachers and have a success rate of 99%.
The Tracker Unit has led to an increase in the arrest of poachers and location of stashes of tusks. Thanks to the Tracker Unit, there has been a definite decline in poaching in the areas they serve. These dogs are turning out to be the Elephant’s best friend.
Meet the K9’s
Rocky is the oldest of the dogs in the unit but is still a puppy at heart. He has boundless energy and is especially friendly making him the darling of the community he serves. Despite his advanced age, Rocky does not tire easily and boosts the rangers with his energy when morale is low.
Rosdaz is the youngest of the dogs and it shows. He is the most playful and his exercises are filled with barks and nips. His demeanor however changes when he is out tracking the scent of a poacher where he is disciplined and attentive, following up on the smallest of clues.
Jerry radiates wisdom and confidence as of an elderly man. He barely barks unless in front of a suspect poacher. Trained in the art of tracking footprints, Jerry has been tracking down poachers the longest and holds a very good track record.
Chester is just as calm as his companion and just as cautious. Despite his reserved nature, Chester is a passionate dog and when he loses the track, one can see the disappointment in his big brown eyes.