If you have been following us on Facebook and Twitter, you would remember Zack the one-year-old Belgian Malinois who started tracker dog training with us back in January this year. Selected for his boundless energy and sensitive smell, Zack has gone a long way from a novice dog born in Wales to becoming an important part of the anti-poaching team of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya.
As we reach the end of 2016, we would like to take you through Zack’s journey and take a closer look at the anti-poaching training that we delivered to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy throughout the year.
Zack, Maxo and Jack joined us and started the tracker dog training. Simon started training them in the hills of South Wales valley near the Malpeet headquarters. The dogs were selected for Lewa’s anti-poaching tasks so they need to be ready for long distance tracking in varying terrains and natural obstacles.
While we were reaching the end of the first stage of tracker dog training, we were busy getting ready for their trip to Kenya. Each of them needs a passport and various paperwork such as vet history to be working aboard. These tracker dogs also need something else – booties! These cute little boots protect their paws from sharp objects on or in the ground they are working on. Any injuries occurred during tracking will slow down the anti-poaching team from getting the poachers.
We were very pleased to see they have progressed as expected and ready for training in the difficult African climate. The environment here in Wales is of course very different from Kenya where they will join the anti-poaching team to help protect wildlife. We all wish Zack, Jack and Maxo best of luck on their assessment day for their achievement on succession.
There was no time for jetlag! Within 48 hours arriving in Kenya, Simon started the second stage of training with Maxo, Zack and Jack. They are expected to perform anti-poaching investigations across the country, from the expansive northern Kenya to the Maasai Mara and the Kenyan coast.
All three dogs Maxo, Zack and Jack and their six handlers passed their mid assessment with flying colours.
While Zack is getting ready and setting in his new home in Kenya, one of his handlers Joseph arrived at Malpeet’s HQ in Wales for further training to gain NASDU qualification.
Zack has been chosen to become an Elephant’s best friend! The “Give to Ranger Dogs” fundraising campaign helped raise money towards the Elephant Protection Fund which provides essential supplies for Ranger Dogs and their handlers.
Find out how to support the organisations involved please visit their websites below: