With the annual increase of rhino poaching not only in South Africa but in the Eastern Cape Province, the need arose to complement the Shamwari Game Reserve Rhino Protection Unit with K9 tracking capacity.
The Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) has facilitated and sponsored a dog as they successfully supplied trained dogs for rhino protection elsewhere in the Eastern Cape during 2014 and 2015.
The Chipembere Rhino Foundation
The Chipembere Rhino Foundation is a privately run non-profit organisation aimed at protecting and promoting the population growth of the southern white rhino and supporting the stringent anti-poaching efforts needed in Africa. They specialise in continuously sourcing, testing and funding technology for effective monitoring of rhino; funding tracking and apprehension rhino dogs; providing anti-poaching teams with vital equipment; collaborating with wildlife reserves and raising awareness.
Anti Poaching K9 – Blade
The Chipembere Rhino Foundation identified a young Belgian Shepherd at a well-known Port Elizabeth based Dog School, which would fit all the requirements for anti-poaching tracking. The dog, Blade, 18 months old, was trained off site before it was introduced and trained by its handler, Cabous Pretorius, at Shamwari Game Reserve since the beginning of April. Blade had to adapt to a Big Five environment which he has done perfectly.
Comments Shamwari Group General Manager, Joe Cloete: “Blade will be a valuable asset in the fight against rhino poaching and will primarily be utilised to locate and apprehend rhino poachers. We sincerely thank the Chipembere Rhino Foundation for arranging Blade to come and work at Shamwari Game Reserve.”
Blade will be officially introduced as a working dog after completion of his final exams at the end of May.
There have been a number of contributing factors in Blade’s journey at Shamwari Game Reserve thus far, these include:
- The Chipembere Rhino Foundation has helped to facilitate and fund this K9 programme by supplying Shamwari Game Reserve with Blade, training, as well as a kennel on the APU vehicle.
- Wilderness Foundation has facilitated Blade’s training at Shamwari by donating a dog kennel and a dog house
- Hill’s Pet Nutrition has supplied Blade with food for the remainder of his time at Shamwari as well as a food bin and a dog cushion.
- Last but not least, Merial has supplied Shamwari Game Reserve with tick and flea treatment for Blade’s stay with us.”