A German Shepherd dog specially trained to combat South Africa's poaching crisis has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's first sky-diving anti-poaching dog.
Two-year-old Arrow made his maiden jump at the Waterkloof Air Force Base on the outskirts of Pretoria with handler Henry Holsthyzen of Paramount Group's Anti-Poaching and K9 Academy based in Rustenburg,in North West Province.
Arrow was specially selected as a puppy for his temperament and trained to descend from a helicopter by rope, strapped to Holsthyzen, and finally, to sky-dive.
Arrow is one of 200 specially bred and trained K9s at the Anti-Poaching and Canine Training Academy run by Paramount Group, the African-based defence and aerospace company which manufactures aircraft, armoured vehicles, naval vessels and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for governments around the world.
The Paramount Anti-Poaching and K9 Academy is the culmination of six years of active involvement by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation and Paramount Group in anti-poaching initiatives.
Eric Ichikowitz, the Director of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, said Monday that training protocols had been developed through experience gained in operational environments, working in close conjunction with a number of National Parks' special operations units.
"The training school is a custom-developed anti-poaching facility developed to train anti-poaching rangers into specialised K9 handlers and to engage the handlers in the protocols of working with dogs in a wildlife environment."
Paramount Group's anti-poaching contributions include the donation of surveillance aircraft and other military equipment to national parks, and the provision of combat training programmes to strengthen the capabilities of counter-poaching units. Guinness World Records, which recognized the jump, is the global authority on record-breaking achievement.
First published in 1955, the iconic annual Guinness World Records books have sold over 136 million copies in over 20 languages and in more than 100 countries. Although the Guinness World Records could no be immediately reached for comment, Holsthyzen proudly displaced his certificate confirming Arrow's feat.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK