Grumeti Fund Canine Unit
The canine unit will make a meaningful impact on the already effective tactics to end rampant poaching in the Serengeti ecosystem.
Protecting the western corridor of the Serengeti from the threat of illegal hunting is a critical part of the Grumeti Fund's role as custodian of this fragile ecosystem. Having worked to overcome the erstwhile neglect of this region and the subsequent environmental crisis, the now flourishing landscape and its abundant wildlife population remain at risk. The 120 hard-working anti-poaching scouts responsible for defending this habitat on a daily basis now have reinforcements in the form of four enthusiastic canine partners.
Radar, Tony, DJ and Popo are the founding members of a canine unit, responsible for detecting highly valued and trafficked wildlife contraband. The two chocolate Labrador mixes and two Belgian Malinois are rescue dogs from the United States who have been expertly trained by our partner, Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C), to sniff out ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales, ammunition, bush meat and snares, as well as to track people from the scene of a crime.
Six handlers have undergone intensive training on the ground at Singita Grumeti with the specialists from WD4C on how to care for, train and manage the dogs. The canines and their handlers have been matched based on their mutual connection. The canine unit team is now actively working in the Singita Grumeti area with the goal to expand the programme to reach other areas of the Serengeti as a part of a solution for ecosystem-wide protection.
Grumeti Fund Canine UnitBiodiversity
As the custodian of more than 350,000 acres of the world-renowned Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania – which is home to the Great Migration – the Grumeti Fund is responsible for the reintroduction and recovery of stable wildlife populations, while ensuring that neighbouring rural communities benefit tangibly from these natural areas.
Faced with challenges including uncontrolled illegal hunting, rampant wildfires and spreading strands of invasive alien vegetation when they took over the management of the area in 2003, the Fund dedicated itself to transform severely depleted wildlife numbers into thriving populations once more.
Restoring this once barren and highly degraded region to a flourishing wilderness, their successes include the remarkable recovery of many species – including buffalo, wildebeest and elephant populations, and in 2019, the Fund carried out the largest single relocation and reintroduction of 9 critically endangered Eastern Black Rhino.
The Trust also manages an onsite Environmental Education Centre for school teachers and children to immerse themselves in Outdoor Education and fieldwork, and a world-class culinary school.