Ella, the first tracker dog sponsored by Medivet for the Saving the Rhino project, is retiring from service.
Ella has been in service as a tracker dog for the past six years through Wilderness Foundation Africa’s Saving the Rhino project with Medivet and Dr William Fowlds. A Bloodhound Doberman cross with an amazing sense of smell, she was specially selected by the Chipimbere Rhino Foundation to be part of the initiative. A “cold scent” tracker dog, Ella could effectively follow older tracks – a vital skill used to track and apprehend poachers who have long vacated the scene of the crime.
The cost of training Ella, her handler, support vehicle and accommodation has been funded by the Medivet Rhino program and by the generous donations of Medivet clients. Ella was the first tracker dog sponsored by Medivet and her career has seen her successfully protect areas with critical populations of rhino in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. A number of Medivet colleagues (and some clients) have had the joy of meeting Ella and seeing her put through her paces whilst participating in our week long Medivet Rhino Conservation Experience in South Africa.
Recently, during a routine health check, a mass was discovered on her spleen and the decision was taken by Dr William Fowlds to remove it surgically. Due to Ella’s pre-existing heart condition, only the best anaesthetic care would suffice, so veterinary nurse Candice and Ella’s soon-to-be mother Lisa took Ella to Johannesburg to be under the fantastic veterinary care of Dr Kenneth Joubert and Dr Fanie Naude.
Thankfully, Ella responded well to the surgery and will now go through the recovery phase before embarking on her well-earned retirement, where she will still be cared for through the partnership between Wilderness Foundation Africa and Medivet. More updates on Ella’s recovery and transition to retirement will follow.
As we continue our partnership with Wilderness Foundation Africa, we would like to again give a huge thanks to Medivet clients for their continued donations to a cause close to Medivet's hearts and origins.
Read more about Medivet's work with Wilderness Foundation Africa. If you'd like to donate to Wilderness Foundation Africa's Saving the Rhino project, you can here. Please reference Medivet. Thank you.