On October, DAKTARI and the Anti-Poaching Unit of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) went to three local high schools (Maahlamele, Rakgolokwana and Leoma) to discuss the terrible crime of poaching and to do an anti-poaching demonstration.
Approximately 900 students were present to meet Simon, Corlet and their Belgian Shepherd. Simon first explained what poaching is to the students. He then discussed the importance of the Anti-Poaching Unit, their responsibilities and how they use dogs to track and hunt down poachers.
After a period of questions and answers, it was time to show the students how these well trained dogs do their job. Corlet put on a padded suit and the dog was ordered to run after her and stop her from fleeing. The students were very excited to see the dog in action! We all hope that this impressive performance will prevent students from entering or participating in this cruel, unlawful practice.
At Rakgolokwana High School, Carol from the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit was there as well. She introduced the students to the mission of the Black Mambas and invited the female students to join her group after graduation.
Finally, they also have an elephant coloring program and we have asked the 7th grade students of the Diphuti Primary School along with DAKTARI’S Eco Clubs to participate. This program consists of presenting facts about elephants and the terrible poaching of these incredible animals. The children will then color in the drawing of an elephant and write a message about what they have learned. The best, colourful drawing and powerful message will win a prize and the picture will be featured at different places. On the 18th of October DAKTARI and HESC choose 4 winners and give them prizes. Then, they reminded the children that poaching is a terrible crime and it was their responsibility to join in the fight against it.
Below an extract of the dog in action