Big Life Foundation
Facebook icon twitter square red 64x Instagram Vimeo  DONATE

151217 1 1 Tracker Dogs Putting Themselves Out of Business

November, one year ago. Rangers at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania received one of the dreaded calls: an elephant had been killed by poachers.

The anti-poaching unit set off immediately, but they weren’t alone. With them were two remarkable hounds, Jerry and Chester from the Big Life tracker dog unit.

Within hours, sniffing through the wilderness, the conservation canines had tracked the scent from the elephant carcass right up to a suspected poacher’s house. This eventually led to the arrest of all the poachers involved.

At that time, these calls were coming almost weekly, but a year and a string of arrests later, elephant poaching has dropped to almost nothing in the area.

The dogs, managed by Big Life’s implementing partners in Tanzania, Honeyguide Foundation, have been so successful that they’ve just about put themselves out of the elephant-poacher-catching business. Thanks to their terrifying reputation, they are now focused primarily on eliminating bushmeat poaching and tracking community criminals.

The deterrent effect that their success has had is astounding. Poachers know how hard it is to outsmart those noses, and it has pushed the risk element too high. Not only this, but it has set an encouraging example of cooperation between an NGO, the Tanzanian government, and the communities in which the dogs work.

Jerry and Chester have come a long way since they first started working on the Tanzanian side of the greater Amboseli ecosystem in 2011, and it seems that they are only just getting started. We sure are glad they’re on our team!

Photo credit: Felipe Rodriguez

Share This
 
80% to 100% of Proceeds go to Big Life
160213 1 1 Ranger of the Month January 2016
February 13, 2016

RANGER OF THE MONTH: JANUARY 2016

It’s hard to think straight when you’ve got a lion on your roof, but a warrior’s spear had already glanced off the car and Seiko had to act fast. He put his foot down and the little Suzuki 4x4 went crashing through the… Read More
150519 1 1 Ranger of the Month April 2015 Moloimet Legos
May 19, 2015

BIG LIFE RANGER OF THE MONTH, APRIL 2015: MOLOIMET LEGOS

It was early morning. The young men moved swiftly through the bush. The tracks were fresh and the warriors moved fast, excitement building as they anticipated the combat ahead. By mid afternoon, the warriors found their… Read More
141206 1 1 Ranger of the Month November 2014 Senior Sergeant Lekina Olempumpu
December 06, 2014

BIG LIFE RANGER OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2014: SENIOR SERGEANT LEKINA OLEMPUMPU

Anti-poaching rangers are strong, courageous individuals. They spend whole days patrolling the bush, tracking poachers, and keeping the peace between wildlife and humans. It takes an even stronger character to lead… Read More
141002 1 1 Ranger of the Month August Dickson Ntawuasa
October 02, 2014

BIG LIFE RANGER OF THE MONTH, AUGUST: DICKSON NTAWUASA

A rhino named Dickson, who would have thought? Certainly not the man himself when he stepped in his new position as a ranger 22 years ago.There were only ten rangers back then, a motley crew starting off in a role never… Read More