The first African Wildlife Foundation conservation project of the trip saw the boys visit one of the leading anti-poaching dog training facilities in Africa. The dogs come to Africa from Europe and once at the facility are partnered up with a ranger. From there, they are trained for a variety of jobs involving the illegal wildlife trade. Some dogs are trained to work at airports, shipping ports and also border crossings to sniff out illegal wildlife contraband such as ivory (elephant tusks), rhino horn and also pangolin scales. These products will be hidden in bags and also in vehicles.
Other dogs are sent to work out in the field with anti-poaching units and are trained to be able to track down poachers both in and outside the boundaries of the national parks.
The dogs are seen as the best answer to anti-poaching efforts, due to their discipline and that the dogs can’t be corrupted. Wealthy individuals that pay poachers for the likes of ivory can try and tempt anti-poaching rangers with large sums of money.
Using canines has proven to be so successful, that within the next few years, over 20 countries in Africa alone will have dogs from Canines For Conservation, with the charity also expanding into Europe, the Middle East and Asia as well.