Two German shepherds, one and half-year-old, sniffer canines named Maya and Drona will work along with the patrolling squad of the Similipal Tiger Reserves (STR) in Odisha, India. The canines will work together in protecting the country’s fourth-largest wild cat habitat.
The canines have been introduced to the patrolling squad after completing six months of training in wildlife protection at the (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) ITBP’s National Dog Training Centre at Bhanu in Chandigarh. The canines will assist in tracking poachers, finding hidden guns, snares, other wildlife articles, and incriminating material.
While speaking to The New Indian Express, the deputy director of Similipal South Division, Samrat Gowda stated that most of the time poachers plant poisoned food in deep areas of the forest to kill wild animals. Apart from this, they target water bodies as animals come there to quench their thirst. Such situations have always been a major challenge for forest staff.
Three staff members from the Similipal reserve have been trained to handle the canine squad. Samrat Gowda mentioned that these canines were allotted to STR by TRAFFIC India. TRAFFIC is a non-government organization that is working very closely with the government with regards to wildlife.
In these past years, STR did not have any sniffer canines in their canine squad. Currently, the newly joined canines are being acclimatized with the habitat so they can soon start patrolling. Samrat Gowda further mentioned that if it is feasible for them they will add more sniffer canines to the squad.