PILOT PROJECT IN TANZANIA

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Team Rokka’s first detection dog project was implemented in Tanzania during years 2015 and 2016.

The work was divided between to sectors. Firstly Team Rokka’s personnel participated, along with their dogs, in several Tanzanian special forces’ anti-poaching operations, with great result. Most memorable would be case “Shetani”, wherein the team’s main dog Rokka, after whom the entire NGO is named, found critical evidence against the most wanted man in ivory trafficking. “Shetani”, aptly named the devil, headed at least 15 different criminal syndicates in five African countries before being caught. “Shetani’s” chase is captured in Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary “The Ivory Game” (Netflix, 2016).

Another core mission was to train Tanzanian K9 police unit’s dog handlers and their dogs, along with the unit’s infrastructure to meet today’s needs. Training had several challenges: lack of resources, minimal level of education and a culture-bound negative attitude against dogs. Regardless of these challenges, Team Rokka managed to train six local handlers and dogs to reach a level of expertise wherein they can now participate in law-enforcement operations within their K9 unit. An example of the training would be the participation of trainer trainee Jmila and her dog Nopy in the investigation of the infamous “Shetani” case.

Biggest progress in developing infrastructure was the renewal of the kennels. Team Rokka built the country’s first professional and operational kennels in Tanzania’s K9 headquarters. Kennels offer high-class surroundings for 10 to 12 dogs and acts as and example on how dogs should be treated. See a video of the kennel from our Facebook pages!

From an animal protection point of view, another remarkable result was that Team Rokka was able to incorporate and instill positive reinforcement training methods to Tanzania’s K9 police unit. The unit can be seen training in this video.