Guards with dogs to root out poaching

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(File photo) A Sanparks tracking dog called Loco poses in front of a DENEL UAV at the Skukuza Airport in the Kruger National Park. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is equipped with highly sophisticated surveillance technology and will be used as a surveillance platform in the fight against rhino poaching. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Durban - Sniffer dogs and extra game rangers have been deployed at the entrance gates to the Kruger National Park to stop rhino horns being smuggled out of the park.

SA National Parks announced at the weekend that several of the park’s 150 newly recruited rangers would help to search vehicles entering and leaving the 2 million hectare game reserve, where more than 800 rhinos have been poached in just three years.

“We are at war and every tactic will assist in ensuring total control of all entry and exit points,” said SANParks spokeswoman Wanda Mkutshulwa.

The new rangers had been trained in “customer etiquette” and would help to search the vehicles of tourists, visitors and contractors and to arrest offenders.

Several companies and private donors also donated specially trained sniffer dogs to help with the searches.

At least 57 rhinos were killed by poachers in January, with 42 of the killings inside Kruger.


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