Currently, the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (TPNR) has five (5) highly skilled and trained dogs; a mixture of German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. All the TPNR Canines are trained to track humans, with the sole responsibility of detecting and tracking down people who have illegally entered the reserve. Rhino poachers are top of their agenda! Each dog has undergone rigorous and specialized training for a period of one and a half years. Just like their dogs, the Field Rangers have undergone similar training. The two work in unison striving to combat rhino poaching and wildlife crime.
A Field Ranger and his canine companion are continuously undergoing additional training, ensuring they remain at the top of their game. The team has an extremely important role to play in relation to searching for suspects in open areas and buildings, apprehending suspects in life-threatening situations, disarming suspects, a specialty of a canine ranger, as well as tracking and apprehending suspects over long distances. Of all the training the team receives, the most important is ensuring that the bond between a handler and his dog remains strong. The two are virtually inseparable, working and living together. The one always looking out for the other, a true friend for life.
During 2020 the TPNR pack is expecting the arrival of three (3) new dogs. These dogs are currently undertaking their training in Germany and will be deployed at the various access gates, with the sole purpose of early detection. Trained to detect a combination of rhino horn, elephant ivory, ammunition, firearms or explosives, these dogs have an exceptionally important role to play in combating rhino poaching and wildlife crime.
Keeping the Timbavati dog unit healthy, fit and trained and covering the handlers salaries, training and equipment required to protect our wildlife, comes at a price. This team is absolutely essential in the fight against rhino poaching and wildlife crime within the Greater Kruger and we are asking for your assistance to keep these wildlife guardians fighting fit and up to the task.
The monthly costs to keep this unit active is just over R 50 000.00, and all contributions will go directly to this worthwhile cause. Help us keep these heroes active and help with the fight against rhino poaching and wildlife crime.