Canine Anti-Poaching Unit



Luangwa Valley is the premiere destination in Zambia for wildlife tourism. Possessing the highest concentration of elephants in Zambia, Luangwa Valley is home to an estimated 19,000 elephants. The spectacular South Luangwa national park is over 5,600 square miles and lies in the eastern region of Zambia. The park is also home to the largest population of lion in the country, the second largest population of African wild dogs in Zambia, the endemic Thornicroft giraffe and Cookson’s wildebeest. In addition it has the densest population of hippo in Africa. During the 1970s and 1980s Zambia lost the majority of its elephant population and all of its Rhino due to rampant ivory poaching with losses of up to 80,000 elephants.


Luangwa Valley’s elephants are severely threatened by a resurgence of poaching and wire snaring in the area. While the elephant population has started to rebound, poaching and wire snaring are rising as well. South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) provides critical anti-poaching and anti-snaring patrols to protect the estimated 19,000 elephants in the area.

The South Luangwa Canine Unit was established in October 2014 in partnership with the Zambia Wildlife Authority to provide additional wildlife contraband (ivory, gunpowder and elephant meat) and ammunition detection capabilities to both organizations. It has proven, within a short timeframe and with just three dogs, to be indispensable. These dogs, sourced in Montana by Working Dogs for Conservation (WDC), were trained in the U.S. to detect ivory and have proven themselves irreplaceable across conservation and law enforcement disciplines. Dogs are typically deployed for roadblock and national park gate-checks, village and camp searches for illegal wildlife products.


Help us assist with the care of two new dogs, trained by Working Dogs for Conservation, at South Luangwa Canine unit to provide critical anti-poaching work in the region. These dogs will allow SLCS to expand their anti-poaching work to search airports, planes, cities, border posts and people who may be trafficking contraband in their clothes. Support will help fund the expansion of kennels, veterinary support, recruitment and handler training and food for the dogs over the next 12 months.


The South Luangwa Conservation Society is a non-profit community-based organization committed to the conservation and preservation of the local wildlife and natural resources in Luangwa and at the same time ensuring and encouraging community development amongst local populations. Set up in 2003 by local stake holders, SLCS now plays an important role in conservation within the Luangwa Valley. SLCS supports over 65 scouts who conduct regular anti-poaching patrols inside the National Park and game management area.

Program Type


Funding Needed



South Luangwa Conservation Society


Luangwa Valley, Zambia


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Project Sponsors and Supporters

The Bodhi Tree Foundation

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