DR Congo's Virunga National Park rangers have recently acquired a valuable new weapon in the battle against poachers - a team of St Hubert bloodhounds.

These friendly dogs are famous for their ability to follow a trail, even across very difficult terrain, and incredibly they can identify a single scent in five million.

As well as helping to track down poachers, the dogs will contribute to enforcing the rule of law in the park - crucial if Virunga is to re-establish its tourism trade.

They will also be used to find lost and injured rangers, many of whom have died needlessly while awaiting help. This is an important consideration in the 7,800 square-kilometre park.

Learning to effectively 'man-trail' is a challenging task for the five dogs and their handlers, and it will take years for their training to be completed, but already they are doing impressive work.

Christian Shamavu, the head of the park's canine unit, introduces Gelareh Darabi to the dogs - and sets her a challenge.

 
earthrise airs each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1930; Saturday: 1430; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0830.

Click here for more on earthrise.

Source: Al Jazeera