Breed: German shepherd
Joined our pack in 2016
Scents: 4, including bushmeat
Tesla was donated to us by a wonderful family in Washington State who gave him the opportunity to what he loves most: work. Now deployed in our anti-poaching project in Zambia, Tesla has become an outstanding tracking dog, and is most likely the first and only dog in the world who can track individual rhinos. Rhinos -- like people -- lose hundreds of thousands of skin cells every minute, leaving behind a rich scent trail. So we started his training by teaching him to track people on foot, then to track people on horseback. After he mastered those steps, he began tracking rhinos, starting at the footprints near where they were last seen. Today it is a joy to watch him work: as the trail gets warmer, he lifts his head to scent the air and grows visibly excited. Tesla is a a big, somewhat intimidating-looking dog who only shows his sweet, loving temperament to those he knows best. We are lucky to be part of that group.
Tesla alerts his handler that he has detected wildlife contraband.