Dogs Trained to Catch Poachers Are Now Parachuting from Helicopters

Posted by Stacey Venzel

Conservationists are employing skydiving pups to fight poaching in Africa.

They've already mastered rappelling down ropes hanging from helicopters. Now dogs at the Anit-Poaching and Canine Training Academy are parachuting to land.

The training is all part of the work of Paramount Group in South Africa tasked with taking down poachers in the region.

Helicopter jumps proved successful in hunting down poachers, but they're noisy. The helicopters have to hover steadily and close to the ground in order for the dogs and their trainers to climb down the ropes. This gives poachers a heads up that someone is onto them. With skydiving pups, however, the dogs can approach the poachers with the element of surprise.

Rhinos and elephants are culled every year for their tusks. With their populations dwindling, and rangers not able to catch all the ill-doings on huge swaths of land preserves, dogs are helping protect wildlife numbers.

This isn't the first story of dogs helping to protect wildlife. A K9 unit in Tanzania is trained to sniff out wildlife smuggling and drugs. Cheetahs are even being protected with the help of guard dogs in Africa.

It's also not the first time animals have been up in the air. Pets of all kinds have made their contributions to science through debuts in space, too.

It seems there's not much pets can't do.

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Dogs Trained to Catch Poachers Are Now Parachuting from Helicopters