Protecting the western corridor of the Serengeti from the threat of illegal hunting is a critical part of the Singita Grumeti Fund’s role as custodian of this fragile ecosystem. Having worked to overcome the erstwhile neglect of this region and the subsequent environmental crisis, the now flourishing landscape and its abundant wildlife population remain at risk. The 120 hard-working anti-poaching scouts responsible for defending this habitat on a daily basis have recently received reinforcements in the form of four enthusiastic new recruits.
Radar, Tony, DJ and Popo are the founding members of a brand new canine unit, responsible for detecting highly valued and trafficked wildlife contraband. The two chocolate Labrador mixes and two Belgian Malinois are rescue dogs from the United States who have been expertly trained by our partner, Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C), to sniff out ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales, ammunition, bush meat and snares, as well as to track people from the scene of a crime.
Six handlers have undergone intensive training on the ground at Singita Grumeti with the specialists from WD4C on how to care for, train and manage the dogs. The canines and their handlers have been matched based on their mutual connection. The canine unit team is now actively working in the Singita Grumeti area with the goal to expand the programme to reach other areas of the Serengeti as a part of a solution for ecosystem-wide protection.