Didi is a Malinois, and along with Fire and Alpha, she works in the K9 Anti-Poaching unit at Care for Wild, the worlds largest rhino orphanage.
The Malinois or Belgian Shepherd is known for its keen sense of smell. They are eager learners and possess a high level of intelligence. Before they were utilised in anti-poaching, you would find them working in police forces around the world.
A day’s work in the K9 unit is long. Dogs and handlers will search large areas for any signs of poachers or animals in distress day and night. There are fence lines to be checked and vehicles to be given the once over by these super sniffers. Anti-poaching dogs are trained in three disciplines; patrol, detection and attack. More often than not they are even being trained to rappel from helicopters.
Didi who was purchased by Spirit Wildlife Fund, for Care For Wild, can reach a top speed of around 45 km and has a bite force strong enough to break one of your bones in one try. Great news for the Rhino, not so good for poachers!
Footnote: Not long after this post was written Didi died protecting her handler while out on patrol. She is sorely missed by all but none more than her handler who carried her for 2km through the bush to get her the veterinary care she needed.