Kaziranga’s newest four legged recruit cracks her 1st Wildlife case
GUWAHATI: Quarmy, the third member of the sniffer dog team deployed at the Kaziranga National Park, has cracked her first wildlife crime case by foiling a poaching attempt. A one-and-half-year-old German shepherd, Quarmy is the latest addition to the canine squad which has been in place at the World Heritage Site since 2015.
Quarmy was brought to the park after successfully completing her training under TRAFFIC India’s wildlife sniffer dog training programme at the Gwalior-based National Training Centre on December 16. TRAFFIC is a global wildlife trade monitoring network.
Only two weeks into her work at Kaziranga, Quarmy was called into service on December 27 when park officials received information that a poaching attempt was being hatched at a house in Tashigaon area near Kaziranga’s northern range, which spans over Sonitpur and Biswanath districts on the northern banks of the Brahmaputra.
Quarmy went along with a team of park officials, led by range officer Pranjal Baruah, and sniffed out a .303 rifle and silencer hidden in a pond near the house of Gyan Das, the suspected poacher. Das was not present when Quarmy reached his house, but Quarmy traced the stashed weapons by following the scent of a shirt that belonged to him. On December 28, Das and two of his accomplices were arrested.
Baruah said the poachers had been planning to hunt rhinos in the park for their horns but were foiled because of Quarmy’s prompt actions.”This was Quarmy’s first operation after her induction for the anti-poaching drive at Kaziranga and she did her job successfully. We are very thankful to her,” said a senior forest official.
“This is a big achievement for a newly-trained dog who has just joined the department. We hope that the wildlife sniffer dog squad at Kaziranga will become an integral part of mitigating wildlife crime in the region,” TRAFFIC India head Saket Badola said.
Kaziranga National Park, spread over 883 sq km (including newly added areas), is home to over 2000 rhinos but has been bearing the brunt of poaching. Last year, Kaziranga lost at least five rhinos to poachers, while about 15 rhinos were poached in 2016.