An exciting update we shared, which continued to be of interest to our followers throughout 2022 was that of our ERP canine unit. We named the four dogs under this programme, Nora, Jim, Gary and Merise. The names were carefully chosen and represent some of the people who have been integral to the success of ERP through their various contributions and participation. The hounds are now stationed at Madikwe where they have teamed up with the human personnel overseeing anti-poaching activities at this particular place.
The dogs are now patrolling around the reserve. In recent weeks, the dogs have been placed at various stations, including at the gates and have now started tracking within the field, having undergone the basic training of such tasks. We applaud Johannes and his team who have continued to ensure that this programme is a success, as they work with all four dogs daily.
One of the four dogs in our canine programme, recently delivered 13 healthy puppies. This signals growth in this initiative, as the puppies will also soon grow and be trained to be part of our ranger programme. We once again appreciate the effort of our ERP members directly responsible for training and taking care of our much-loved canine rangers.
The dogs have been trained on attacking upon command over the past few weeks. This is when their handlers give out instructions on when to tackle would-be poachers. For the training, we utilise full pack body suits to prevent any injuries on the trainers. We are also glad to report that the new puppies are growing well and are in good health. As always, we extend our gratitude to the ERP members who continue to ensure this programme succeeds.