Skydiving dog drops in on African poachers

Updated 2017-04-14 16:30:39 CGTN
“Arrow,

Arrow, a highly-trained anti-poaching German shepherd, is fronting a new mission to combat illegal hunting in South Africa.

Arrow, a highly-trained anti-poaching German shepherd, is fronting a new mission to combat illegal hunting in South Africa.

The world's first skydiving anti-poaching dog parachutes from the skies to meet poachers face-to-face, and is even called upon to rescue local rangers when under threat from illegal hunters.

Using their advanced senses and instincts, anti-poaching dogs were first introduced to Kruger National Park with an aim to improve response times to poachers operating in the South African bushveld. To make that response time even quicker, Arrow was trained to tandem-skydive with his owner Henry Holsthyzen.

"Before the use of dogs in anti-poaching operations, the success rate was extremely low due to the dense nature of the landscape - making tracking extremely difficult," Holsthyzen, an experienced law-enforcement dog trainer who has spent years working in the field for the Paramount Group's Anti-poaching and K9 Academy, told Guinness World Records.

"Today, almost every anti-poaching unit in South Africa have dogs assisting them in their daily fight against poaching. The contribution these dogs are making in the field of anti-poaching is phenomenal."

Africa's poaching situation has been labelled a "crisis" by many major wildlife foundations. National Park rangers realized an innovative approach was needed to confront illegal hunters.

Around 1,200 rhinos were slaughtered in 2014 and 2015, and in greater Africa, the elephant population has fallen by almost a third. Arrow is part of a team of dogs that make up Paramount's award-winning Anti-Poaching and K9 Academy.

Arrow and Holsthyzen took their maiden plunge together from 1,828 meters on September 17, 2016 - above the Waterkloof Airforce Base, near Pretoria, South Africa and set a new Guinness World Record.

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