27th December 2017, Kaziranga National Park, India—“Quarmy”, one of 13 newly trained wildlife sniffer dogs deployed in India, has cracked her first wildlife poaching case just a week after finishing training.
Quarmy is part of a growing team of German Shepherds who are trained to assist in wildlife trafficking cases under TRAFFIC’s wildlife sniffer dog training programme in India.
Sniffer dogs have been successfully used to detect illegal wildlife products and wildlife trafficking in China, Russia, India, Europe and beyond.
Quarmy was one of 13 dogs recently to complete the formal induction course at the National Training Centre in Tekanpur , Gwalior, bringing the total number of wildlife sniffer dogs on duty in India to 56.
A week after her deployment, officials from the northern range of Kaziranga National Park received information about an alleged wildlife poacher living in the region. A team of rangers which included Quarmy and her handler were sent to investigate.
Although the accused was absent on arrival, the sniffer dog was able to detect and recover firearms, believed to be used for poaching local wildlife, hidden at the bottom of a pond over 2 km away.
The alleged poacher was later apprehended and positively identified by Quarmy based on a matching scent.
The case helps further emphasize the value of sniffer dogs in helping to gather evidence in wildlife smuggling and poaching cases.
Dr Saket Badola, Head of TRAFFIC’s India office said, “We congratulate the dog squad as well as the forest department officials who successfully apprehended this alleged poacher. This is a huge achievement for such a recent addition to the department. We hope that the wildlife sniffer dog squad at Kaziranga National Park will become an integral part of their team for mitigating wildlife crime in the region”.
Kaziranga National Park in Assam is extremely rich in wildlife and therefore a regular target for wildlife poachers and illegal wildlife smugglers. Assam also hosts the largest population of Greater One-horned Rhinoceros in India and its proximity to international borders makes it vulnerable to illegal activity. Deploying a wildlife sniffer dog squad is crucial in helping to curb wildlife crime in the region.
To find out more about the wildlife sniffer dog programme please visit www.trafficindia.org .