The 16th of April was a milestone day for the cooperative work between the Ecuadorian Environmental Police and Sea Shepherd, for it celebrated the training of the newest dog guides and wildlife-sniffing dogs in the K9 unit, which successfully detects shark fins, sea cucumbers and other wildlife being illegally trafficked out of the Galapagos Islands.
The dogs were brought to the Galapagos from Holland by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (“Sea Shepherd”) and donated to the police to help detect environmental crime, which worldwide is an ever increasing and very serious problem.
Sea Shepherd received a formal invitation to the celebration, which was carried out on the grounds of the Regional Center for Dog Training in Quito.
Two high-ranking officials were present: General Edmundo Moncayo, National Director of the Anti-Narcotics Office, and Colonel Freddy Ramos, the Sub-Director, who presided over the celebration accompanied by the chiefs of the Environmental Police and the Training Center.
General Moncayo expressed his thanks to Sea Shepherd for its help in working with the National Police and the section of the Environmental Police, the only unit of its kind in the country.
Sea Shepherd representative Godfrey Merlen was present and gave a talk on the issues and threats generated by environmental crime both in the Galapagos Islands and around the world. He also praised the Environmental Unit for its work, and the Ecuadorian police force in general for its support of this valuable innovation. He was also asked to help present certificates of competence to the dedicated dog handlers.
After the formal presentations, and in more casual conversation, Godfrey was asked if attendees would like to see the new dogs in action. This offer was enthusiastically accepted, and the canine environmental officers gave an impressive show of the dogs’ ability to detect the exact location of selected objects.
This concluded a pleasant and successful celebration.
Sea Shepherd thanks these amazing canines for their contribution to the conservation of the Galapagos Islands and the world’s remarkable bio-diversity and ecosystems.
Sea Shepherd Galapagos
site for more information.