British Dog Handpicked To Defend World's Last Two Northern White Rhinos

A dog is spending his days defending the world's last two northern white rhinos, adding to the already massive pile of evidence suggesting dogs are the best.

The brilliantly-named Drum was handpicked when he was just eight weeks old to take on the hugely important role and now, still only 10 months old, he has been sent to Kenya to bear the fate of the rhino sub-species on his little doggy shoulders.

The springer spaniel from Norfolk, UK, is responsible for sniffing out any weapons and ammunition smuggled into Ol Pejeta wildlife reserve in central Laikipia county by poachers.

Drum was handpicked to protect the rhinos. Credit: BBC Newsround
Drum was handpicked to protect the rhinos. Credit: BBC Newsround

The last two northern white rhinos are mother and daughter, Najin, 30, and Fatu, 19, and they are protected around the clock by fences, guards and watchtowers. The last male of the species, Sudan, died last year, aged 45, but researchers at Oxford University are attempting to save the species using IVF treatment.

In the meantime, Drum will play a vital role in defending Najin and Fatu from poachers, who have all but eradicated the species. The pupper was trained by Daryll Pleasants, who runs Animals Saving Animals and described Drum as 'perfect' for the role.

According to the Daily Mail, he said: "I hand-picked him from a litter when he was eight weeks old. He is used primarily for vehicle searches and for that you need a dog with a very high energy drive.

"To describe Drum, he was the noisy, fat little boy in the litter who was always doing something. He'd be the one wandering off doing his own thing.

"As a puppy he was always bouncing around and that's perfect for the job - it's a very active role."

Drum will be responsible for protecting the last two northern white rhinos. Credit: PA
Drum will be responsible for protecting the last two northern white rhinos. Credit: PA

Drum may now be living a noble life, but Mr Pleasants admitted that he misses him.

He added: "He was trained specifically to be sent to this reserve, I escorted him out there at the end of last month and he's already doing really well.

"He's so friendly and they all love him... I do miss him though. He'll be enjoying having 93,000 hectares to run around in."

But the training is not over for Drum, who is now being put through his paces at his hotter new home.

Drum will search vehicles for guns and ammunition. Credit: BBC Newsround
Drum will search vehicles for guns and ammunition. Credit: BBC Newsround

According to the Daily Mail, a spokeswoman for the Ol Pejeta reserve said: "Drum arrived on 27 March and was handed over to John Mamba, a member of the elite anti-poaching unit.

"Drum joins the K-9 unit as a search dog, specifically looking for guns and ammunition. He will be deployed at entry points to search for vehicles and also help during recovering missions.

"He is acclimatising and bonding with his new handler and is currently undergoing more training sessions in this environment."

Here's hoping Drum is loving his new life in Kenya.

Featured Image Credit: BBC Newsround

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013