By Amber Keiper
As a fellow animal lover, I’m sure that you despise the mistreatment of animals as much as I do. One method of animal cruelty that has been around for years is the illegal hunting practice called poaching. Poaching is the indiscriminate hunting and killing of animals that dramatically reduces the population of the species. This practice is one of the main causes of extinction within a species. Unfortunately, poaching is BIG business; often times more profitable (and less risky) than selling drugs or gold. Rhino horns, for example, which are used by some cultures as traditional ornaments or for medicinal use, can be sold for upwards of $30,000 a pound on the black market.
With only a little over 5,000 black rhinos in existence, the Ol Pejeta Conservatory in Nanjuki, Kenya works tirelessly to preserve this endangered species. But even for them, the threat of poaching is a very serious concern to their habitat of African black rhinos. Poachers have been known to storm the compound, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, shooting at anyone who stands in their way, in an effort to get ahold of the precious rhino horns.
Fortunately, Ol Pejeta has Daryll Pleasants on their side. A former military dog trainer for the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Pleasants trains various dog breeds, including bloodhounds and Dutch-Malinois Shepherds to patrol, track, and if necessary, attack poachers that invade the compound.
The anti-poaching dogs are outfitted with special James Bond-type gear that protects them from punches, kicks, stabs and bullets. They also wear the latest in FIDO headgear equipped with camera equipment, GPS navigation and night vision to help them on the hunt.
Says Pleasants, “What these dogs will do is they will search for a carcass or associated items and bring the anti-poaching team in on the carcass. From the point of the carcass, they will then track after the intruders or the poachers and then, should they need to, can apprehend the intruder as well.”
Score one more for the fight against animal cruelty!
Amber Keiper is the Marketing Coordinator and Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is “mom” to two animal rescues – a spoiled Havanese mix named Chewy and a sassy tabby mix named Chiquita. For more holistic pet health, nutrition and wellness tips, go to barfworld.com or sign up for the FREE weekly newsletter, The Intelligent Pet.
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