Instagram – February 24th, 2019
Last year, our executive director Paula was lucky enough to meet these cuties in Rwanda. Now, we’re delighted to report that their training is going extremely well and the puppies are well on their way to becoming Rwanda’s newest anti-poaching team!
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Akagera’s newest (and cutest) canine protectors are growing from strength to strength as we celebrate the puppies turning six months old! The 10 puppies: Thor, Odin, Leo, Bella, Levi, Loki, Charlie, Kupa, Abu, and Athena have continued their training for the past two months and are on their way to becoming fully fledged members of @akagerapark’s growing canine anti-poaching team in Rwanda. They will continue to undergo training daily for the next few months, with some well-deserved rest days in between! Already, during the last two months of their training, we have seen an extraordinary bond form between the puppies and their handlers, which is paramount to the success of the program. Thanks to the efforts of our Rangers, including their canine counterparts, and due to community involvement, poaching has remained at an all-time low over the past three years here in Akagera. Before 2010 when African Parks assumed management of Akagera on behalf of the Rwanda Development Board, lions and rhinos had been hunted out and about 30,000 cattle were grazing inside the park. Poaching was rampant, and tourism was barely trickling along. Fast forward to today, and Akagera has become Rwanda’s only Big Five destination and is now home to a thriving lion and rhino population, elephants, leopards, and other iconic African species. In less than a decade the park has become almost 80% self-financing from tourism, and last year we saw over 44,000 visitors, half of whom were Rwandan nationals, bringing in an astounding $2M in revenues that feeds the park and surrounding communities! Akagera has become a national treasure, and the park’s trajectory has shifted from one of oblivion to one filled with prosperity and hope. Photo: @love_wild_africa #africanparks #conservation @dogsofinstagram @animalsdoingthings #goodboy #dogsofinstagram #canine #akagera #rwanda #puppypatrol