It is with heavy hearts that we announce that on the morning of August 12th, Didi, our Poaching K9, was killed in a freak accident while on duty at Care for Wild.
Didi and Fire with their handlers startled a family of Bushbuck at the corner of the Intensive Protection Zone. The Buck panicked when trying to flee as the fence line was blocking them from escaping. The male protecting his family, charged.
Didi was closest, and as he came at them with his horns, she put herself out front to protect her handler. She received a serious wound to her chest by the buck’s horn. The Buck fled off into the bush.
Didi and Fire’s handler knew that her injuries were serious and they immediately put their canine first-aid training into action to try and stem the bleeding. Her handler then carried her for two kilometres back to camp where she was transported to the West Acres Animal Hospital.
Dr Albertus Coetzee fought for Didi using everything in his arsenal to try and save her. Unfortunately, the buck’s horn had pierced her aorta, and despite every effort, Didi eventually succumbed to her injuries. Her handler never left her side.
Even though this was a freak accident, we must acknowledge that Didi put her life on the line to protect her handler from danger. To the K9’s who work in Sanctuaries and within National Parks all over Africa, a threat is a threat, and they will not back down.
Didi has been cremated, and her ashes will soon be sprinkled in the bushveld of Care for Wild.
We honour Didi and all of the anti-poaching dogs from around the country who have lost their lives while on duty. We honour them for their loyalty to their handlers and to the wildlife they watch over every day. May they Rest in Peace.
Spirit Wildlife Fund is working with Care for Wild in the search for a new anti-poaching dog to carry on Didi’s role within the sanctuary.