The all-female Akashinga Anti-Poaching Unit had a new team member! Katana, a Belgian Malinois tracker dog is the latest member of the team.

Katana, two years old, is close to two rangers in the unit that now make up the IAPF canine unit at Phundundu wildlife reserve where Katana helps conservation efforts and helps to deter poachers as part of her work. Katana’s team members are Sergeant Tracy Basarokwe and ranger Future Sibanda.

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“Katana is also very playful, she likes to play with her tennis ball with us, she likes to swim, but mostly Katana is very, very good at tracking,” Sgt Basarokwe said in an emailed statement. “Her favourite food is dog biscuits, she is intelligent, a hard worker, friendly and very protective over us, her handlers.”

Katana has been an IAPF member for about 18 months and has caught multiple poachers by following tracks. Rangers were then able to arrest the poachers.

Katana and the team are deployed into locations with limited resources and her work speaks for itself.

“When the rangers come across tracks of poachers – sometimes those tracks may be an hour old, sometimes they may be a day old – and the use of canines such as Katana allow us to be able to follow those tracks a lot faster,” IAPF CEO and Founder Damien Mander said. “Katana’s work can hopefully close the distance between our ranger teams and the people that have made incursions into our areas which are until we know otherwise are always presumed to be poachers.”

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Sign this petition to demand that the US and EU provide funding for the Hack the Poacher platform, so anti-poaching patrols can use technology to find the poachers before they find and kill wildlife!

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