Fourteen week old Anti-Poaching/detection puppies in training from not-for-profit organisation Dogs 4 Wildlife visited Cumbria Zoo recently, for some animal familiarisation, ahead of their future deployment to South Africa to help protect some of the world’s most endangered animals.
Nkosi and Thula were joined by Darren Priddle, Director of Dogs 4 Wildlife, who, along with Co-Founder Jacqui Law, are training the puppies to become human scent and detection dogs in the fight against rhino poaching in South Africa.
The Puppies have been given Zulu names. Nkosi meaning King/Chief and Thula meaning peace and tranquility. The Zulu names were chosen as Dogs 4 Wildlife has deployed dogs to KwaZulu Natal, South Africa previously and have recently launched a debut anti-poaching conservation programme in Zulu Land, SA.
Nkosi and Thula met a variety of animals at the zoo including several rhino, giraffes, wolves and monkeys… these familiarisation trips are hugely important to get the young dogs in training used to the sights and smells of the endangered wildlife that they will be protecting in the future in South Africa.
Although a reserve has not yet been decided for the Bavarian Mountain Hound puppies, fellow Dogs 4 Wildlife pup Kitapo, a fully trained anti-poaching dog, developed by Dogs4Wildlife has recently been deployed and is destined for big things – the protection of White Rhino, 1000’s of Antelope species, Giraffe, Zebra, Buffalo, Leopard, Pangolin and many other species at a 30,000 acre reserve in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
Last year, a total of 451 rhino 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 75%, so the dogs will have a huge part to play in the conservation of rhinos and many other endangered species.
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.
Deploying anti-poaching dogs and K9 units is a crucial part of conservation efforts in Africa.
Cumbria Zoo formally helped fund Dogs 4 Wildlife Dog Indy and Kitapo and were part of a team of people who helped get Indy to Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa to work as a bushmeat detection dog and Kitapo to Renosterpan Reserve.
Co-Director of Jacqui Law, commenting on Nkosi and Thula’s trip to Safari Zoo said: “We can’t put in to words how truly grateful we are for the amazing support from Safari Zoo and all the staff and customers with our Dogs.
“ Our visit truly blew us away on how much time, advertising and engagement they have dedicated to our dogs.”
Sam from Cumbria Zoo Company, said: “We have been honoured to support the development of Indy and to be able to help with Nkosi and Thula’s training in this way.
“It’s really amazing to meet these little four-legged heroes and humbling to know what an important role they are going to play in the protection of wildlife and ultimately, in securing a long-term future for many species around the world.”
For more information on Dogs 4 Wildlife, please visit https://www.dogs4wildlife.org/