In an effort to combat poaching, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), together with their sister property, Camp Jabulani situated on the Kapama Reserve, have been using dogs as part of their anti-poaching initiative. They currently have two male Bloodhounds which have been trained to track spoor.
These dogs traverse the Kapama Reserve, HESC and nearby surroundings where there’s a need for their assistance. As HESC’s primary focus is on conservation, in Africa, this is just one of the measures that they are taking to protect the animals on their property, including the much-poached rhinos that are on the reserve.
It’s quite effective to use dogs to track poachers, as they have great stamina and do not leave tracks once they are on their trail. They can track for up to 20km as practice! As part of HESC’s continuous sustainable wildlife projects, they have secured a sponsorship deal with Nestle to provide food for the Bloodhounds.
These dogs are exceptionally good at tracking spoor. To keep them diligent in their duties, they are rigorously trained and frequently do mock spoor tracking exercises.