Man’s best friend is more than a loyal companion: their noses are scientific wonders. A dog’s sense of smell is anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times as acute as our own. While humans have about six million olfactory receptors in their noses, dogs have up to 300 million. In short, their keen noses are an invaluable asset on a ranger team.
Big Life’s Tracker Dog Unit currently has three canine rangers: Didi, Bonnie, and Clyde. Together, they make a disproportionately large contribution to our anti-poaching and conservation goals.
The direct impact is obvious: in instances when a poacher has killed an elephant or other wild animals, the Dog Unit is able to respond to track and apprehend criminals, achieving results no human or machine is capable of.
As a result, their presence alone is a huge deterrent to wildlife crime in the ecosystem. We know from our intelligence network that the dogs factor into poachers’ decision-making process, and that they have increased the threat of arrest to the point where for many, that risk is simply too high.
Their indirect impact is subtler and comes in the form of support to the local community. This kind of assistance is unpredictable and varied, ranging anywhere from helping to apprehend criminals, to finding lost children in the bush and reuniting them with their families.
So far in 2018, the Dog Unit has helped Big Life ranger teams respond to incidents involving: vandalism, human search and rescue, assault, theft, and wildlife injury.
Please show your support for our canine rangers by making a donation today. Should you choose to make your gift monthly, you’ll join our Ranger Club, and will be entered to win a Big Life Leatherman multitool.