Bruce is like to be a Labrador. Pleasant, good natured, friendly. Vox all the time. Boris is also sweet, but a bit exciting, an energetic state of mind. The two go on a mission together and in a few weeks they will be in South America.
“They’re looking forward to it,” says Wesley Wiescher, 33, owner and dog trainer at Flavland’s NS. In recent weeks, he has been training his dogs to identify the remains of jaguars or animals, singing Slut Pur.
‘Operation Jaguar’ is the official name of the trip and no one else is allowed to know where it is going in South America. “We come to places and people. At the very least, we are not very welcome.”
The project is coordinated by the natural organization IUCN and the IFAW Foundation where Wesley works. Its purpose is to counteract the trade in jaguar teeth, skin and bones.
Wesley, for example, interrogates many vehicles traveling to and from national parks, especially at night, known to carry many animals that have been illegally hunted or captured. He also travels a lot to airports and ports. “You have hunters trying to trick my dogs, for example with products that have a very strong odor. Like pepper.”
But Boris and Bruce don’t fall for it.
How do you train a dog for such a task? “It starts with a toy,” Wesley says. “A cheap thing like 10 euros. A tennis ball, a floating rope. You have to have a dog, it’s so much fun, don’t stop looking until he finds it again.”
Wesley confirms that the toy has the dog looking scent. For this he enlisted the help of RTC: the Jaguar gave him blankets from the enclosure and drove the bowls to Wesley. Wesley also sometimes hid a tooth in the toy. “Over time, the dog makes a connection between the smell of the jaguar and the toy. The dog thinks he is looking for his toy.”
Bruce and Boris both have their own way to Wesley: Boss, there’s something here. Bruce sits up neatly, and Boris covers himself: he sits against the vehicle or the box or the cage.
Wesley insisted; Not every hunter is bad. “I come to countries where people believe that the jaguar that comes closest to the village will come and have their children. Sometimes you see families in a slum with six or seven children, and then a rich man comes in. ‘ You will receive. ‘ Yes, I can not blame such a man, such a father. “
The only way to combat this type of poaching is to educate the people and make them realize that tourists come to their country and see the animals alive and in the wild. “The big criminal organizations that hunt in big schools make me very angry.”
It makes him happy when he saves a living animal, but also sad to find such an animal. “My heart breaks when I see such a baby orangutan lying in a small cage.”
Bruce and Boris, on the other hand, look at their tails. They are waiting for their reward: the toy.
“It’s a big game for them. Once I put my uniform back on, they’re in the doorway. But they don’t know what they mean to other animals.”