Some of the most skilled tracking dogs in Africa don’t track game; they don’t sniff out bombs or drugs. They sniff out elephant poachers.
The Tarangire National Park employs the Big Life Tracker Dog Unit to prevent poaching because dogs can be trusted, even in a politically volatile environment.
“Dogs are wonderful to work with because they don’t have any political agenda—they can’t be compromised,” said the director of Big Life. “They love their handlers, and they do a job until the job is done.”
Some of the dogs, like Didi below, were stray before being rescued and trained by Big Life. Now the dogs return the favor by saving the lives of other animals.
If Didi and her fellow pups hadn’t been rescued, they wouldn’t be able to save other types of pups, like elephant pups!
Big Life Tracker Dogs follow scent trails to lead to park rangers to poacher hideouts. Try as they might, the poachers can’t outsmart the instincts of a good dog.
The dogs are able to work the long hours and maneuver through the wild terrain without tiring or losing their high spirit. Tracking poachers is hard work, but for these pups it’s a labor of ruv.
Many national parks in Africa now use tracker dogs because of how successful the practice has been for capturing and deterring poachers.
So high paws to the tracker dogs and rangers of Africa’s national parks, for protecting the animals who can’t protect themselves, and for showing how great a rescue can be!