The Ol Petjeta Conservancy in Kenya has taken a dramatic step in its mission to tackle poaching.
The conservation site is home to the world’s most precious animals, including the last 3 remaining northern white rhinos, 113 critically endangered black rhinos and a number of herds of endangered elephants.
Now, help is at hand thanks to the parks specialist team of Malinois dogs who have been trained to ward of poachers and keep the animals safe.
Sometimes referred to as a variety of Belgian Shepherd dog, these herding dogs are known for their energy, intelligence and speed.
The Elephant Ignite Expedition team recently visited the Ol Petjeta Conservancy to see these incredible dogs in action, and were so impressed by what they saw.
Attack decoy Stephen Wachira introduced them to their search dog called Sarah, who they consider to be their smartest hound.
Stephen says, ‘Sarah is our search dog, she’s the best in the world.’
‘She normally searches for ammunition – guns and explosives.’
To prove just what a clever canine Sarah is the team at Ol Petjeta Conservancy set up a live demonstration.
They hid a bullet underneath a slab of brick before tasking Sarah to find it. Thanks to her incredible sense of smell, it took Sara only a matter of seconds to locate. As soon as she had sought out the bullet she sat down, something all of the dogs have been trained to do in case of danger.
But it’s not just their keen sense of smell that the conservancy uses the dogs for, they’re also trained to immobilise and detain intruders in case of a poacher attack.
According to Kenyan law, it is illegal to release the dogs if an intruder has stopped, but if they continue to run after being asked to stop, the armed handler will release the dog.
And with a very powerful jaw and the ability to reach speeds of 40mph – it’ll take a very brave intruder to risk going up against one of these Malinois dogs.
Thanks to these highly skilled dogs and their very dedicated trainers, the endangered animals here are now far safer from poachers!
Watch the video above to see some of the terrifying attack dogs in action with handler Stephen.