A brave dog who caught poachers on one of Africa’s largest game reserves has been awarded ‘the St George’s Cross’ for his work, by none other than Ricky Gervais.
The ironically named ‘Killer’, a Belgian Malinois, works for Kruger National Park’s Special Operations Team and, for the past four years, his tracking skills have led to the arrest of more than a hundred scumbag poachers, the Daily Mail reports.
The six-year-old dog has been praised and awarded a medal for his work in battling to save the critically-endangered African rhinoceros from extinction, and for risking his life in the fight against poaching.
The medal, which has been dubbed ‘the George’s Cross for animals’, was awarded to Killer in a ceremony in December, and Prince Harry, who was visiting the country on a trip to raise awareness of poaching, popped in to visit him and say well done.
Now, the pup’s award has been officially announced in a two-minute video released by Ricky Gervais on Facebook.
The comedian and animal welfare advocate said:
Killer does fantastic work in the Kruger National Park. Rhinos are wonderful creatures that are being killed in their hundreds by these poachers. Killer and his colleagues are fighting back. He helped capture dozens of poachers in the last year alone, thanks to his amazing courage and dedication. He’s making a huge contribution to rhino protection in South Africa.
Killer is often deployed inside Kruger National Park several times a day, and specialises in tracking and detecting suspects early, which is vital in keeping the team safe from harm.
Thanks to his impressive tracking skills, 115 arrests have been made to date, although the fight against poaching continues.
With the number of rhino killings in South Africa rising from 448 in 2011, to 1,215 in 2014, Killer is still considered an important part of the fight against poaching.
Killer and his handler Amos Mzimba, are often flown in by helicopter to track and apprehend armed poachers when they are spotted, or if a poor dead rhino is discovered.
It is an honour to have Killer by my side. It means a lot that he has been recognised for his skills and assistance in tracking and arresting poachers. Thanks to him, we are arresting more poachers, but there is a lot more to be done if we are to save the rhino from extinction. Killer is invaluable in achieving that.
Jan McLoughlin, director general at PDSA, the charity who award the medal, says that Killer’s extraordinary acts of courage and dedication in life-threatening situations make him a worthy recipient of the award.
His contribution to saving the rhino population has been truly remarkable. His track-record is astounding and we are honoured to recognise his fantastic work in this way.
Since it was launched in 2001, the PDSA Gold Medal has now been awarded to 24 heroic animals, including UK police explosives search dogs Vinnie, Jake and Billy for their lifesaving work in the aftermath of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London in 2005.
Let’s give all these dogs a round of a-paws for their hard work.
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.