Didi and Leyian, her handler with the Kenyan Big Life Tracker Dog Unit, are poised to start a search. The moment Leyian straps on her harness, Didi perks up her ears and is ready to go to work.
"Apart from their incredible tracking abilities, dogs are wonderful to work with because they don't have any political agenda—they can't be compromised," said Damien Bell, director of Big Life Tanzania, the conservation organization that manages the Big Life Tracker Dog Unit.
"Our dogs have tracked elephant poachers for up to eight hours at a time or more, through extreme conditions—heat, rain, wetlands, mountains—and still turned up results," he said.
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