Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife

by African Conservation Trust
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Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife
Project Rhino K9 Unit: Defending African Wildlife

Project Report | Dec 29, 2023
Happy Howlidays from the K9-Unit!

By Kira Macdougall | Project Rhino & African Conservation Trust

Image: Jeremy Kirkwood
Image: Jeremy Kirkwood

Dear valued friends and supporters,

South Africa typically experiences a surge in crime and poaching incidents during the festive period, posing an increased threat to our wildlife and the wildlife rangers who protect them. Our dedicated team has been on the front lines, battling wildlife and other crimes alongside local police and response teams in the stunning Zululand landscape. Here is a brief update from the field.

From January to September 30, 2023, our K9 team has been relentless in their efforts, removing 1412 snares on patrols, responding to 57 emergency call-outs, apprehending 5 criminals, assisting in the arrest of 10 illegal immigrants, and recovering various weapons, including an illegal firearm (.375), fourteen .375 rounds of ammunition, 4 knives, and a carpenter saw. Our team has also successfully recovered stolen goods from two incidents and retrieved poached rhino horns from two vehicles. Since July, we’ve started documenting the animal carcasses we find during patrols, discovering 7 carcasses in three months (July, August, and September).

Simultaneously, the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing has logged a total of 475 hours, including 21 call-outs for reactions and 141 routine patrol flights. During these operations, one poached rhino and three vulture poisoning sites were discovered. The ZAP-Wing played a crucial role in responding to a call-out involving dog poachers in a member reserve. Additionally, the ZAP-Wing’s contribution to rhino dehorning and collaring projects has significantly reduced helicopter time, ultimately cutting down the cost of these vital operations.

Devastatingly, KwaZulu-Natal continues to be a target for poachers. As of December 5th, a staggering 295 rhinos have been poached in the province’s reserves this year, with 29 rhinos falling victim in just 40 days. This marks a 20.9% increase from 2022 and a 189.2% surge from 2021.

As we reflect on these achievements and challenges, we want to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support. Your contribution empowers our K9-Unit to make a real difference in the fight against wildlife crime, ensuring a safer, more secure future for our wildlife and the ecosystems they inhabit.

Wishing you a joyful and paw-some holiday season!

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Organization Information

African Conservation Trust

Location: Hillcrest - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ACTsafrica
Project Leader:
Chris Galliers
Hillcrest , South Africa

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