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Namibia’s Canine Unit Continues To Nip Wildlife Crime In Bud

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Namibia's Minister of Environment Pohamba Shifeta (3rd R) poses for a group photo with members and dogs of the canine unit in Windhoek, capital of Namibia. (Xinhua/Musa C Kaseke)

Namibia’s anti-poaching canines that offer a combination of detection, tracking, and apprehension capabilities have been successful in 52 cases all over the country since their deployment in 2017, an official said Wednesday.

The recent one was the arrest of suspected rhino poachers on a farm neighboring the Waterberg Plateau Park, a national park in central Namibia, the Minister of Environment Pohamba Shifeta said at a donation event in Windhoek.

The canine unit which comprises four dogs is trained to track human scent, search buildings, vehicles, firearms, ammunition, and illegal wildlife products such as ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales, and bush meat.

“The canine unit is part of our anti-poaching initiatives. We are confident that this has become a formidable unit in the fight against wildlife crime,” he added.

Shifeta said Namibia has purchased four more dogs from the Netherlands, and as soon as the boarders are opened the dogs will be delivered.

“They will be trained and permanently deployed at Bwabwata National Park to cover the northeast regions of Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West and parts of Otjozondjupa regions,” he said, adding that the third unit will be deployed in the central regions, to cover Khomas, Hardap, Omaheke and Karas regions.