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Assam: Zorba, the dog involved in anti-poaching operations, dies

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Guwahati, Nov 22: Belgian Malinois dog Zorba, which was the first such dog deployed in the country to track down poachers, passed away due to age and health issues on Monday night.

Aaranyak, one of India's biodiversity conservation organisations, announced the news of its first k9 unit member on Tuesday.

Assam: Zorba, the dog involved in anti-poaching operations, dies

An internationally acclaimed rhino conservation and wildlife crime expert, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, the CEO of Aaranyak, mourned the death of its K9 hero, according to a report in ANI.

"Our K9 squad, including Zorba, helped forest officials locate poachers' exit routes following rhino poaching incidents, resulting in arrests of the culprits by police and forest officials. Zorba's contribution during his lifetime will always be remembered and we will always regard him as a conservation hero," ANI quoted Talukdar as saying.

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Zorba was actively engaged in anti-poaching operations in several rhino protection areas in Assam - Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, and Orang National Park. The dog had helped the wildlife officials to track down over 60 poachers in the state.

"As soon as they pick up a scent and track, they can outrun and capture the suspect, which they can defeat if the suspect tries to elude them. Our K9 squad members, including Zorba, have assisted forest officials in tracing the poachers' exit routes after rhino poaching incidents. It ultimately leads to the arrest of perpetrators by forest and police officials. Belgian Malinois are world-class sniffer dogs who create an unbreakable bond with their owners," Dr Talukdar added.

After being relieved from duty in December of 2019, Zorba was in intensive care in Aaranyak's K9 unit centre.

With inputs from ANI

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