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Written by: Donna Pleasants, White Paw

It is with great sadness that I write about the death of Bandit – the star anti-poaching dog at Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania that was featured in an Africa Geographic article only a few weeks ago.


Whilst on a tracking exercise, Bandit was bitten by a snake and was unable to recover from his injury. Thoughts go out to everyone at Mkomazi and especially to his handler, Penyelli, whose bond with Bandit was unbreakable.


During his time in training at both Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Mkomazi, Bandit showed great bravery in protecting wildlife against poachers and was, without a doubt, the best working dog we have ever trained. I cannot express how much he will be missed and how unfortunate this incident is. This comes as a devastating blow for all involved.


Whilst we cannot replace a dog such as Bandit, we must carry his legacy forward by training more anti-poaching dogs to follow in his footsteps; to help keep his incredible contribution to conservation alive.


Bandit cost upwards of £10,000 to train, and the cost for training an anti-poaching dog is as follows:

£1,000 – Purchase of puppy with working dog bloodline

£5,000 – Training in tracking/apprehension/search/patrol

£2,000 – Air shipping costs to suitable project

£500 – Annual food costs

£150 – Annual vet bills

£250 – Equipment including lead, collar, harness, tracking lines

£300 – Protective body armour for dog

£1,000 – Training of dog handlers in Africa


You can support the training of anti-poaching dogs by donating to raise funds to provide Mkomazi with another future star in honour of Bandit. Please visit today to keep Bandit’s legacy alive!

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