Meet Jenny – Super Sniffer that busted a bear poaching case in Maharashtra
The phrase, “Dog is a man’s most loyal and trustworthy friend” can never go wrong. With the ever-increasing incidents of illegal wildlife crime being reported across the nation, wildlife sniffer and tracker dog squads trained under TRAFFIC’s programme in India have put their best paw forward to combat this alarming issue.
On 17 October 2017, in the heart of the Choramal village in Amravati district, Maharashtra, a super spirited female German Shepherd – Jenny along with her handler Atif Hussain, deployed at the Melghat Tiger Reserve, successfully helped track the alleged poacher of a Sloth Bear.
The sniffer dog squad was brought to the crime scene where the poached Sloth bear with its limbs chopped off was found. The handler gave the scent of the alleged poacher to Jenny from the wooden-log from the crime scene. After this, there was no turning back for Jenny and her handler. The wildlife sniffer dog squad led the investigative team 2 km away to the location of the alleged poacher.
Sloth bear Melursus ursinus, is a ‘Vulnerable’ species according to the IUCN Red list. It is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India and this protects the species from poaching, illegal wildlife trade and any other forms of exploitation. It is further listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) thus prohibiting all international trade in the species.
Unfortunately this has not deterred its poaching or illegal trade. Bears continue to be poached for their body parts including meat and paws considered a delicacy in some countries; and gall bladders for extracting bear bile used in traditional medicines in countries like China, Japan and South Korea.
India’s wildlife sniffer dogs trained under TRAFFIC’s wildlife sniffer dog training programme are popularly called the Super Sniffers and have had many successes since the introduction of the training programme in 2008. There are 43 wildlife sniffer dog squads in the field and 13 new dog squads will pass out in December 2017. However there is still a need to strengthen wildlife sniffer dog forces in India and have more wildlife sniffer dog squads deployed across tiger reserves and protected forest areas to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
Age: Four years. Born on 13 October 2013
Training Centre: Police Dog Training Centre, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (Batch IV of TRAFFIC’s wildlife sniffer dog training programme launched in 2008 in India)
Deployment: At Melghat Tiger Reserve since 2014
Number of wildlife cases undertaken by Jenny: 15+