Though Gonarezhou’s elephant population is still doing well, management is tackling the potential threat of poaching head on. The budding ranger corps is growing and growing; rising stronger every day...
A key factor that has added to the success in arrests of poachers in the area west of the Kruger National Park has been the use of trained dogs. The Southern African Wildlife College now has a canine anti-poaching training unit, with dog kennels and a full-time professional dog master.
Four Malinois, 11 Hounds and two Beagles are currently being trained at the kennels. The training facility is aimed at delivering accredited dog handlers who will together with their trained dogs, be operationally competent and meet all current and future anti-poaching initiatives with the JPZ (Joint Protection Zone of Kruger National Park) and the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF) and ultimately, the SADC region.
Kruger National Park’s joint protection zone is an area demarcated as a cooperation-based conservation management block with Kruger National Park in the centre, and including all private and community-owned reserves in Mozambique and South Africa that lie adjacent to the park.
The headquarters for this zone (for the South African component) will be based at the Southern African Wildlife College, with the ranger camp, aerial support and canine unit all seen as assets to the zone, while at the same time enhancing training.