Horse patrols are imperative to Zakouma National Park during the rainy season. As the park becomes waterlogged it is almost impossible to travel by foot or vehicle. In previous years, this was when elephant herds were most vulnerable to poachers as rangers were unable to patrol, but thanks to the horses the elephants are now protected during the wet season.
The Zakouma horse patrols consist of 32 horses and 24 rangers that patrol the area to prevent the incursion of poachers.
The stallion Andrine was donated to Zakouma as a demonstration of co-operation between the park and the Ouled Rachid community. In the northern regions of Zakouma another nomadic tribe assists the horse patrols using their own horses and reports back to Zakouma’s rangers via radio. The Ouled Rachid tribe would like to do the same.
The Ouled Rachid tribe forms part of the Shuwa Arabs of Chad. They are a semi-nomadic tribe that keeps goats, cattle, horses and camels on the plains of Sahel. However in the dry season they move to the south of Zakouma for grazing.
Andrine, is a fiery horse and is doing well on patrols thus far.