Our Anti-poaching unit (APU) is essential to the protection of animal species within our protected areas. At present, the Zululand Conservation Trust has custodianship over the Manyoni Private Game Reserve and our hard-working field rangers ensure our conservation projects remain a success.
The APU are vital in responding to security incidences in and around the protected area. To do their jobs, they work around the clock and patrol the reserve 24/7 in rough conditions, dangerous environments and difficult terrain. They protect a myriad of wildlife within the protected area: including the critically endangered black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, wild dogs, cheetah, leopards, lions and pangolins. Without their tiresome hard work and dedication to conservation, we would not be able to achieve our mission to conserve species threatened with extinction.
If you would like to support our anti-poaching and K9 unit please get in touch with us at email@example.com or press the DONATE button above.
Historically, we have received assistance from regional K9 units. However, to improve responses to security incidents in and around the protected area, we have established our own rapid response K9-unit. We were fortunate to secure a generous sponsorship from the Global Conservation Force (GCF), a United States-based non-profit organisation that assists conservation entities globally with funding, training, and equipment for conservation security.
The dogs within our K9 unit train on a weekly basis, to ensure fast reaction times and responses to security threats. Their progress and behaviour are closely monitored, to continuously improve success rates of operations and reactions to threats. Our canines are specially trained in various fields, including specialised scent tracking among others.
MEET OUR K9’S:
We currently have four k9s in the unit.
In a law enforcement setting the three main disciplines are detection, tracking/trailing and biting apprehension and protection.
Thor, a Bavarian mountain hound was donated to the reserve by GCF. He was bred and trained in the Netherlands by Scent Imprint for Conservation Dogs.
Thor has been trained to track humans-scent to allow him to track poachers, but he also has the very unique skill of tracking pangolins! Our pangolin soft release and research project requires intensive post-release monitoring, , and recently Thor proved to be invaluable in assisting in relocating a pangolin that had not been seen for more than 2 years.
Veela is a German-shorthaired pointer, who is actually the family dog of our Reserve and Security Manager.
Wessley Vischer, an internationally-renowned scent-detection trainer, recognized that Veela showed exceptional determination and drive, and suggested that we start training her. On her first day of training, she tracked 80m and she has continued to excel. Veela is now tracking just as well as our other two tracking K9s, and is particularly useful on hot days, as she is well acclimatized to the Zululand heat.
We are currently training her in detection and would like to imprint her on Rhino horn scent.
Rolo is a Dutch Shepard who was bred in South Africa, and trained by Kilo9 Academy. He was also donated to the unit by the GCF, and his skill set lies in tracking human scent.
Rolo’s strength is that he can scent discriminate between different individuals, which is very useful if crime scenes are contaminated. Although
Rolo has a very sweet disposition, he is a very large and visually intimidating dog – and this also acts as a deterrent for people entering into the protected area illegally.
Zigge is the newest addition to our K9 unit. She is a Dutch Shepard and Malinois cross, donated to the unit by Wildhood Foundation and trained by Kilo9 Academy.
Zigge is trained in the detection of firearms, ammunition, and apprehension. She is currently undergoing pangolin scent imprint training, with the intention of adding rhino horn scent after that.