In Africa, the elephant population has fallen by almost a third in recent times. Rhino poaching has also reached epidemic proportions with around 1200 rhinos being killed in 2014 and 2015 in South Africa alone. To combat the growing problem, methods to stop poachers have evolved and with the help of man’s best friend they are taking them on from the sky.
Meet Arrow, he is a two year old German Shepherd dog who has been specially trained to combat Africa’s poaching crisis. He has also just been recognised as the world’s first sky-diving anti-poaching dog by Guinness World Records after jumping at the Waterkloof Airforce Base on the outskirts of Pretoria.
Arrow made his maiden jump with handler Henry Holsthyzen of Paramount Group’s Anti-Poaching and K9 Academy based in Rustenburg, South Africa. Specially selected as a puppy for his temperament and trained to descend from a helicopter by rope, strapped to his handler, Holsthyzen, and finally, to skydive.
Arrow’s entry to the Guinness World Records family comes after much preparation. His skydiving expertise hinges on his close relationship with his handler. Since Arrow was a puppy the two have eaten, slept, and worked together in order to develop the inseparable bond needed to carry out high-pressure anti-poaching tasks together.