Canine Improve Efforts to Deter Ivory Poachers in Kenya

"Police Dog" by Dick Thomas Johnson licensed under CC BY 2.0
Police Dog” by Dick Thomas Johnson licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: National Geographic

Canine in Kenya and Tanzania are trained to sniff out ivory in luggage at the airports. The effort of Tanzania’s Wildlife Division, under the supervision of the African Wildlife Foundation, seeks to deter ivory poachers in one of the world’s largest transit points for ivory collectors because of Africa’s large population of elephants.

In the last decade, one-fifth of the world’s population of elephants have been poached, according to a report released in March 2016 by the US State Department. In order to help reduce these numbers and prevent further wildlife trafficking, Kenya has implemented a law that increases fines for smuggling ivory to $200,000 or a life sentence in prison. Similar to a movement by Malaysia a few weeks ago, Kenya will hold a public burning of over 105 pounds of confiscated ivory to demonstrate the seriousness of the offense.

The training program for canine is an effort between the dogs, their handlers and law enforcement, all of whom undergo a training of two months or more. In the last four months alone, the trained canine have discovered thousands in ivory — one dog alone found $60,000 in ivory – they’ve discovered 200 live turtles, 1,100 pounds of pangolin scales, and even wildlife matter in the smallest amounts, such as an ivory cuff.

Read full story at: National Geographic

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Environment, News