Sammy – one of the Eastern Cape’s highly trained anti-poaching tracking and apprehension K9s sponsored by Mastertons Tea & Coffee Specialists – has a new partner in wildlife crime fighting. His name is Azola (26), a specially-trained K9 handler.

Sharing a very special bond, forged during countless hours of training, patrolling, working and living together, this duo is playing a significant role in enhancing the efforts of local APUs and community patrols to safeguard our Eastern Cape wildlife.

Sammy and Azola have already been hard at work with ongoing weekly training with expert support and guidance from a multi-faceted team and providing local game reserves with anti-poaching support and collaborative assistance with SAPS roadblocks.

With a passion for security and a deep love for nature, Azola graduated from the South African Infantry Battalion before completing his K9 handler course at Bronyx K9 Training College in Port Elizabeth.

Sammy is a live-wire German Shepherd, well-trained in tracking and apprehension, bite-work and obedience, and has been on the frontline of rhino conservation for more than six years already, thanks to continued funding provided by our local Mastertons Tea & Coffee Specialists.

The ongoing costs for Sammy’s care – including her training, food, veterinary bills, shelter and dedicated K9 vehicle, as well as Azola’s training and ongoing accreditation – are all funded thanks to Mastertons Tea & Coffee Specialists, the project’s anchor sponsor, which has already donated generously towards this project as one of their number of areas of support in wildlife protection.

The funds are raised through the sales of their specially-crafted Chipembere Coffee Blend that is ‘Roasted for a Cause’. For every 250 grams of Chipembere coffee purchased by retailers and coffee-loving rhino supporters, R5 is donated to the Chipembere Rhino Foundation to aid their rhino conservation efforts, including anti-poaching K9 units.

Trained tracking and apprehension dogs like Sammy are used throughout South Africa and have shown to contribute significantly in curbing poaching through early detection and/or apprehension.

Thank you Mastertons for helping to protect our rhinos on the ground where it counts! And thank you to the coffee-loving community who continue to contribute by simply enjoying a cup of ‘Chipembere’ coffee that is roasted for a good cause!

 

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