Anti-poaching dogs protect Kenyan wildlife

Two Belgian Malinois sitting in field
(Image credit: Getty)

How do you protect some of the world’s most endangered species? Build a unit of elite anti-poaching dogs, of course!

A pack of highly-trained malinois - a breed of Belgian Shepherds - have become the newest weapon against elephant and rhinoceros poachers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

These natural herders are famous for their energy, intelligence, and speed, making them the perfect breed for the job!

Check out these canines’ incredible talents with the help of Stephen, one of the rangers and attack decoys at Ol Pejeta:

Set over 90,000 acres, Ol Pejeta is one of East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuaries. 

To help guard and protect all of the wild animals that live on the Conservancy, rangers created a canine unit that covers various roles including:

  • Arms explosives detection dogs;
  • Multi-discipline and triple role dogs;
  • Assault dogs;
  • Infantry patrol dogs;
  • Tracker dogs.

As part of the creation of this team of anti-poaching dogs, the canine handlers were professionally trained in both kennel management and canine care, as well as specialist canine tactics to ensure they stop the poachers in their tracks.

And, with the ability to reach speeds of up to 40mph and an incredibly powerful jaw, it’s no wonder that they’re used to deter poachers! 

The Conservancy is famous for being the home of the planet’s last male northern white rhino - a 45-year-old named Sudan - who sadly died as a result of poor health. Scientists are working hard to revive the species through IVF, with the hopes of implanting a viable embryo into the two remaining female northern white rhinos.

Be sure to follow the Conservancy’s canine unit and the journey of bringing the northern white rhino back from extinction on social media @olpejeta

Chloe Petrylak

Chloe is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, who has more than ten years’ experience in creating animal-focussed content. From National Geographic to Animal Planet, Chloe’s passion for creating fact-filled features all about wildlife and the environment is evident. But it’s not just wild animals that Chloe’s fascinated by. Having written more than 75 articles for PetsRadar - and having her very own four-legged friend by her side - it’s no wonder that her love of dogs (and, of course, cats) has grown exponentially.  

Her website,, and social media pages - @ChloeMayWrites on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - showcase her knowledge through daily facts and trivia tidbits. For example, did you know that snails have teeth?!