Called by the Wild: The Dogs Trained to Protect Wildlife by Conraad de Rosner

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The thrilling story of the conservationist who pioneered the use of dogs in combating poachers to protect wildlife in South Africa’s game reserves. Barely out of his teens, one of Conraad’s first brushes with the reality of life at the frontline of conservation was when he shot the leader of a poaching gang during an ambush in Windy Ridge game reserve.

Much of Conraad’s work involving dogs is a continuous struggle against industrial-scale bushmeat poachers, who strangle game in snares, an even greater threat to wildlife than rhino horn poachers as the overburdened courts seem interested only in endangered species. He also works to catch poachers of critically endangered pangolins, the most trafficked animal in the world.

Conraad decided to use his almost telepathic rapport with dogs to tackle the poaching crisis sweeping South Africa. His first anti-poaching dog, a Weimaraner named Zingela, became an inseparable companion. Zingela saved Conraad’s life on numerous occasions – once when Conraad was about to be assassinated by two fellow rangers hired by poachers. Conraad’s story is an epic of modern-day African wildlife conservation, spiced with adventure, courage and romance.

Conraad De Rosner was born and schooled in Gqeberha, then Port Elizabeth. He studied nature conservation before starting work, in 1993, at Windy Ridge Game Park in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2009, he was appointed assistant antipoaching manager at SabiSands game reserve. In 2011, he formed his company, K9 Conservation, at Thanda Game Reserve. In 2015, he moved to his base training farm in Hoedspruit, where for the past six years and more, he has developed and expanded his training of rangers and dogs.
25 Mar English South Africa Books · Society & Culture

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