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Project information

4-Legged Friends Helping an Endangered Species

Help us increase the K9 Anti-Poaching Dog Patrols at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya to 20 tracker dogs and handlers, to prevent illegal wildlife poaching and give constant protection to East Africa’s largest black rhino population and the last three northern white rhino left in the world!

1-2 years from date of funding received.

Charity information: Helping Rhinos

Helping Rhinos logo
  • Need


    The protection of endangered species, at a time when poachers have access to increasingly sophisticated technology and significant financial resources, is costly and challenging. Ol Pejeta’s K9 Dog Unit was one of the first conservancy dog units in Kenya and has proven success from tracking the scent of a poacher, to detecting ammunition and attacking and detaining potential suspects. Increasing the unit will allow OPC to increase the range and frequency of active patrol.


    With an increased dog section, highly trained in tracking, patrolling and when necessary, bringing a criminal down, we aim to make a poacher think twice before trying to kill a rhino or any other wildlife in the Conservancy. The K9 Dog Unit will act as part of a suite of anti-poaching measures deployed to prevent criminal activity but it is the dog's presence with their handler's that has had the greatest success in detection, apprehension and reduction in poaching.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase the canine anti-poaching patrol unit in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya.


    » Over a period of twelve months acquire fifteen new young dogs, Bloodhounds or Dutch Malinois i.e. fit for purpose.
    » Match dog with handler and commence intense training programme. Measure and monitor progress.
    » Begin active duty out on the Conservancy and wider Laikipia area. Monitor progress and record tracking successes.

    What success will look like

    In 2016, Ol Pejeta Conservancy lost two rhino to poaching - the aim is to bring this down to zero.

  • Impact


    The success of the K9 anti-poaching patrols will result in thriving populations of rhino and other wildlife too. This is critical for the black and white rhino species where in other parts of Africa they are being poached to seriously low numbers. Ol Pejeta Conservancy will have the potential to supply other reserves when the poaching is brought under control. A healthy crash of rhinos is also good for tourism, so important for the long-term success of the Conservancy.


    It is possible that the dogs selected for the training programme may prove unsuitable for the task. This Project will be training more than the required number of dogs to carry out consistent and regular patrols. It is also taking into consideration the age and possible replacement of some of original patrol unit.


    Progress will be reported from the regular and detailed monitoring of each K9 recruit. Photography and video will also demonstrate how the dogs are put through their paces and their love of the tasks they are trained to perform. Poachers apprehended will also be reported.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £45,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £28,000 Dog Handlers x4 Salary, rations, uniforms, equipment
      £5,000 5 Dogs Aquire and feed
      £5,000 5 Dogs Aquire and feed
      £5,000 5 Dogs Acquire and feed
      £2,000 Vet Support Veterinary checks
  • Background


    Ol Pejeta Conservancy is part of a wildlife ecosystem that extends over 800,000 acres. The Conservancy itself manages a land area of approximately 90,000 acres (367 km2) covering nearly 4% of the Laikipia District in Central Kenya. It is divided into two sections by the Ewaso Nyiro River; the equator line running through the southern part of the Conservancy. It is the largest and most significant black rhino sanctuary in Eastern Africa with a population of over 100 animals.


    Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a not-for-profit organisation in Kenya working to promote wildlife conservation and provide a sanctuary for rhinos and other key species. Their community development programme is second to none and provides tangible benefits to an impoverished rural people. Indeed, they are integral to their operation and critical to the success of the Conservancy. They also manage a fully integrated herd of 6000 Boran cattle that provides a livelihood to a number of local herdsmen.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    By developing partnerships with in-country NGOs who have the greatest potential for maintaining and expanding the carrying capacity of rhino and, by providing essential financial support for the ongoing running of these NGOs, Helping Rhinos can boast its support for the largest number of rhino in all Africa.
    “The assistance given by Helping Rhinos to maintain a viable and growing population of rhino, black and white, in conservational terms is incalculable” R. Vigne, CEO Ol Pejeta.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Simon Jones

    Founder/CEO Helping Rhinos

    Richard Vigne

    CEO Ol Pejeta Conservancy

    Daryll Pleasants

    Founder/CEO Animals Saving Animals

I'm continuously inspired by the amount of people I meet with a passion for protecting our rhinos, especially as many have never had the privilege of seeing rhinos in the wild. This Christmas Challenge as a fantastic way to show your passion for rhinos in a way that really will make a difference.

Simon Jones CEO, Helping Rhinos