Ol Pejeta’s latest additions to the K-9 unit have more wrinkles than an elephant’s trunk – but they are in fact, just 3 months old. Meet bloodhound puppies Otis and Scarf!

Across Africa, dogs are becoming a vital weapon in the war on poaching. Ol Pejeta’s K9 unit was one of the first private conservancy dog units in Kenya, and we now boast a team of 4 Dutch Malinois dogs and a bloodhound. Between them, they’ve been trained to detect weapons and ivory, as well as to track and apprehend poaching suspects in and around the conservancy.

Not only do they provide protection to Ol Pejeta’s wildlife, but the K-9 unit also work closely with neighboring communities and local authorities to provide support in other cases of insecurity – in particular cattle theft.

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Scarf (left) and Otis (right) play after training.

While the Malinois have the strength to attack and detain criminal suspects, the bloodhound is unrivaled in its tracking capabilities. Researchers have estimated that a bloodhound's nose consists of approximately 230 million olfactory cells – the receptors responsible for processing scent. This is 40 times the number in humans!

This month, we were delighted to boost our bloodhound team by two new members. Otis and Scarf have a few more months of training ahead of them before they graduate, but their enthusiasm is infectious and they’ve already won over their handlers. Bloodhounds have been known to stick to a trail for more than 130 miles, and can follow scents over 12 days old. Stay tuned to keep up with their progress.