Dogs are part of the anti-poaching team, working out in the field and in the airports and shipyards to stop the ivory trade. In the past few years, wildlife officials have seen the importance of their work and have invested more time, energy, and money into training these brave, intelligent canines. Their sense of smell allows them to find well hidden ivory that sometimes remains undetected by even the most sensitive machine technology.
In 2015, the African Wildlife Foundation helped train eight dogs in Kenya to sniff out ivory. The work paid off handsomely as the dogs found over $60,000 of ivory ready to be sent to Asia from the Nairobi airport.
Here is a video from National Geographic showing Diego, an anti-poaching dog in the field. You can see just how fast and athletic he is, thanks to the GoPro camera.
The most popular breed for such work is the Belgian Malinois.
The dog handlers also need to be well trained, and now undergo two months of intense training before being dispatched to work alongside their canine companions.
If you want to see some more truly adventurous dogs, check out this clip of the German Shepherd, Giant, and his Belgian Malinois friend Arrow as they skydive and practice attack skills so they can bring down poachers. I’m not sure how long this video will remain posted, as someone took it from BBC (who no longer has it on their official channel.)
Videos: BBC World, National Geographic, BBC News