Indy, the two year old English Springer Spaniel, who was bred and trained in Carmarthen, South Wales at Non Profit Organisation Dogs 4 Wildlife as a Bush Meat Detection dog, has been deployed to Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa and will be utilised as an open area search dog, to locate and indicate on cached bush meat and animal carcasses, helping the fight against poaching and wildlife crimes.
Last year, 451 wild animals were poached in South Africa. 327 within government reserves and 124 on private property.
Anti-poaching dogs contribute to reducing incidents of poaching by as much as 70%, so Indy, who was trained by Founders of Dogs 4 Wildlife, Darren Priddle and Jacqui Law has a huge part to play in the conservation of rhinos, and the rest of local residents by reducing poaching incidents.
Non-Profit Organisation Dogs 4 Wildlife aims to provide both quality, highly trained dogs and specialised ranger training for the development of anti-poaching canine units, to protect endangered wildlife. Helping to inspire and motivate the next generation of wildlife protectors, through effective and determined education.
Darren Priddle, Founder of Dogs 4 Wildlife and Extremus Dog Training said:
“Indy, an English Springer Spaniel is currently 2 years old and has now been deployed to a superbly diverse Wildlife Reserve in South Africa.
“Tasked with working alongside the reserve current Anti-Poaching K9 unit covering some 5000 hectares, Indy’s role is to locate and indicate on cached bush meat / animal carcass hidden by the poachers who trespass onto nature reserves to kill their precious wildlife.
“Once she has located the recently hidden caches the units tracking dogs can then follow the scent left by the poachers to hopefully arrest them and bring them to justice.
“ Indy has a vital role to play in supporting the reserve’s efforts in protecting their wildlife. Indy was bred and trained by the team at Dogs 4 Wildlife in the UK, where all of our dogs first start their journey to protect and conserve Africa’s wildlife”
Poaching efforts, specifically bushmeat poaching, in the region have tripled during the pandemic and the years following, which operations manager Dr Lynne McTavish attributes to unemployment with desperate people turning to crime and poaching as an easy option for survival as poaching is not a prioritised crime in South Africa.
In 2021, the reserve suffered the heart wrenching loss of Reine and Maegen, Mum and 5 months old baby Rhino, who were killed as they slept and what little remained of their horns (Reine was part of the protective horn trimming programme, and at 5 months, Maegen had barely any horn to speak of) hacked off.
Deploying anti-poaching dogs and K9 units is a crucial part of conservation efforts in Africa
With a long term committed view to assisting in the protection and continuation of endangered species, Dogs 4 Wildlife are a highly experienced team of knowledgeable, dedicated animal lovers with a commitment to wildlife conservation. With 12 operational dogs across 4 Southern African countries, The Dogs 4 Wildlife K9’s help achieve up to a 75% reduction in poaching numbers
Dogs 4 Wildlife partnered with Endangered Rhino Conservation to help facilitate Project Indy and would like to thank Andy Ardle of Berrettavale Detection Dogs for breeding and training Indy prior to her deployment.
About the Wildlife Reserve
The wildlife reserve that Indy is assigned to is a small family run, 4700 hectare nature reserve situated in the north west province of South Africa. The main objective at the park is education and research as they currently accommodate up to ten universities and facilitate their ecology field course as well as run seven earth watch teams annually. The park tries to work closely with the community to create conservation awareness.
About Dogs 4 Wildlife
Dogs 4 Wildlife aims to provide both quality, highly trained dogs and specialised ranger training for the development of anti-poaching canine units, to protect endangered wildlife. Helping to inspire and motivate the next generation of wildlife protectors, through effective and determined education.
Dogs 4 Wildlife promote, for the benefit of the public and our future generations, the conservation and protection of endangered species and the protection against wildlife crime through:
- Training and establishing skilled, reliable, and highly effective, anti-poaching canine units.
- Advancing the training and equipment of Anti-Poaching rangers.
- Community empowerment projects, to advance the awareness and education of endangered species for the continued protection of biodiversity.
- Providing educational platforms in both the UK and Africa to raise awareness for the plight of wildlife and inspire the next generation of wildlife protectors.