Four brave dogs, each with their own personality, but all with one earnest goal, to protect the wildlife and staff of HESC. Our anti-poaching K9 unit and team of rangers, was set up as a part of our intensive security solutions. Their names are Zee, Bullet, Nikor, and Jessie.
Today we share some insight into the ZEE, who, like her “fellow K9 colleagues”, is a Belgium Malinois, which make truly remarkable anti-poaching dogs. They have a striking resemblance to the more commonly found German Shepherd, however they are slightly smaller in build, and have shorter hair.
Zee, a female, was born on the 1st December 2013, and was trained in obedience, tracking and bite-work. We brought her to HESC on the 22nd June 2016, at the age of two and a half years.
Due to her being slightly older and more relaxed than the other dogs, as well as being extremely lovable and approachable in nature, she is become our official HESC APU K9 ambassador. When we do our important community visits to the local schools, to educate them about the importance of our wildlife, it is often Zee that comes along to meet the children too. They love her and she loves them!
We currently use Zee for visibility, education as well as bite-work and tracking demonstrations, when needed.
However, her true strength comes out during her night shifts, when she is out with her handler protecting our rhinos. There is another side to Zee that comes out when there is any threat to her handler or to her territory.
She excels in what she is trained to do, when she is commanded to do so, and when she deems it necessary. Her level of restraint upon command is also commendable, as seen in this video clip, as she calmly watches a leopard. (Taken by HESC Guide, Sean)
In a nutshell, Zee is extremely loyal and lovable. “She is a real softy that loves tummy rubs, and tons of affection, but don’t let that fool you, Zee will not hesitate to protect the people and animals she loves, with her life.” says Corlet Grobler, our APU unit Trainer at HESC.
A special thank you to Corlet, our trainer for doing such an amazing job with Zee and the K9 unit, as well as their handlers, who unfortunately we do not reveal their faces due to security risks.
If you would like to contribute towards the daily costs of our running our APU unit, you can go to our HESC Donation page to donate, or contribute towards our “Big Rhinos need big Hearts too” project on Global giving, as part of the proceeds go towards our APU costs too.