Kolkata: The canine squad employed by the Bengal Government’s Forest Department to sniff out poachers recently got new members from the highly efficient Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd breeds.
Three dogs joined the department – Karim, Ikna and Limpsy. While Karim is a Belgian Malinois, Ikna and Limpsy are German Shepherds.
Karim has headed to Buxa Tiger Reserve in Alipurduar district, where a tiger relocation project will be taken up soon. Ikna was sent to the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve while Limpsy went to Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in Darjeeling district.
All the three canine sleuths are aged between 18 and 24 months, and have been trained extensively in tracking, sniffing and guarding for nine months at the National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD). They can sniff out tiger and leopard skins, elephant tusks, and deer antlers and skins.
In December 2016, an 18-month-old German Shepherd named Rani was recruited by the Forest Department to sniff out poaching activities in and around north Bengal’s Jaldapara National Park, which is home to over 200 one-horned rhinos, comprising the country’s second highest rhino population.