The bloodhounds of Virunga in Dr Congo : It all started when chief warden at Virunga, Dr Emmanuel de Merode, heard about the success of bloodhound man-trailing in other parts of the world and decided to try using bloodhounds within the park to help protect its wildlife. De Merode contacted a world-renowned expert in bloodhound man-trailing, Dr. Marlene Zahner, with over 20 years of experience in training bloodhounds for search and rescue as well as crime scene investigation. The Congo Blood Hounds are one of the most unusual and fascinating dog breeds in the world. These dogs are the product of a cross between a Belgian Malinois and an African serval. They are known for their distinctive appearance and scenting abilities, making them a great pet for anyone looking for a unique companion animal. Here are a few things you know about the Congo Bloodhounds.
On the banks of the Lulonga River in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, between the towns of Kinshasa and Bas-Congo, lives a colony of Congolese hounds, more commonly known as the “Virunga Bloodhounds” or “Kinshasa Bloodhounds.” It is here that these remarkable dogs come from, having first been bred in the late 19th century as hunting companions for the Belgian king. Despite their noble roots, these dogs have become victims of civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) over the past couple of decades. One of these is the Virunga National Park, where Belgian military units used to keep packs of bloodhounds to hunt big game like elephants and hippos.
They are originally developed by crossbreeding between the African Serval, whose habitat is sub-Saharan Africa and south Arabia, and the Belgium Malinois, who originated in Belgium but have since found a home all over the world including the United States and Australia.
The virunga bloodhounds have greatly helped in eradicating poachers from Virunga National Park, by warning park guards in advance about the presence of poachers in the area. They are specially trained to find human scent so that they are not attracted to animals like the scent of spoor in the forests of the park, meaning that they are able to track and locate any human presence even if they are hidden deep in the woods. This makes them extremely valuable to park rangers and soldiers as they act as a vital part of the fight against poaching in DR Congo.
The term “bloodhound” refers to the breeds that were originally bred for their hunting abilities. Today’s bloodhounds come in many different varieties, each with its own special traits. Most bloodhounds are distinguished by their long noses and short legs, which allow them to chase down their prey quickly without being injured themselves. They also tend to have a keen sense of smell that allows them to follow the trail of their quarry even when it is faint or disguised by other scents such as other animals. One of the most important skills for any dog to have is its ability to smell properly.
The Virunga blood hounds have been specifically trained for this purpose and have been invaluable to the fight against poaching in the Virunga National Park. They have managed to help sniff out the presence of humans in areas where they are usually very difficult to detect. As a result, they have played a key role in ensuring that the Park continues to be free from the threat of poaching for years to come.
Although the Virunga bloodhounds have played a very important role in ensuring that the park remains safe, they have not received much recognition for their efforts so far.