Ivory smuggling in Kenya will be heavily disrupted following the introduction of ivory sniffer dogs.
Four dogs, six handlers and one corporal from Kenya alongside four dogs and six handlers from Tanzania graduated on Thursday from the African Wildlife Foundation’s Conservation Canine Programme.
“The detection dog teams will first be deployed to Kenya’s Port of Mombasa and Tanzania’s Port of Dar es Salaam, where they will aid both countries in disrupting the flow of illegal ivory smuggled to markets abroad,” Kathleen Garrigan said in a statement yesterday.
She is the AWF Media Relations manager.
The dogs selected for ivory detection were brought in from Europe and comprise a mix of breeds, including spaniel, German shepherd, malinois and a German short-haired pointer.
The ceremony to honour the graduates and a mock demonstration of the dogs at work was held near Arusha, and was attended by representatives from Wildlife Division, Kenya Wildlife Service, Tanzania National Parks and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.
KWS deputy director of security Robert Muasya said the anti-trafficking effort will help in the arrest of ivory smugglers.
Under a memorandum of understanding signed between AWF and the Wildlife Division, a dog detection team will first be installed at the Port of Dar es Salaam, where it will search shipping containers for smuggled ivory.