Hers is an unusual name for a female dog. But then, not all canines sniff poachers out in tiger territory and have a Facebook page.
Quarmy, a German Shepherd, was the odd one out at a congregation in Kohora – a tourist range of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) – organised on Monday to felicitate the wards of forest officers and frontline staff who did well in the higher secondary exams for the 2018-19 academic year. The event was organised to mark Global Tiger Day.
She held her own as the winner of a special prize for patrolling the Biswanath Wildlife Division of the KNP to curb poaching and illegal trade of tigers. “Her name means a quarter of an army. She has virtually been many soldiers rolled into one ever since she became a part of our team in December 2017,” Mukut Chandra Das, the division’s Deputy Conservator of Forest told The Hindu.
He said Quarmy, four months short of three years, was formally told about her special prize for tiger conservation at the Kohora congregation. “We are expecting the certificate for her soon,” he added.
The Trade Record Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce (TRAFFIC) had announced the winners of the first Canines for Felines, a special contest for wildlife “super sniffer” dogs trained under a TRAFFIC and World Wide Fund-India programme in India.
The competition received 12 entries from across India. Among them, the 12 super sniffer contestants have helped enforcement agencies solve 131 wildlife cases. The overall winner was Nirman, a super sniffer from the Tiger Strike Force in Satna while Myna, his counterpart in Indore took the second spot. Both dogs belong to the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department.
On December 27, 2017, a week after joining the Biswanath Wildlife Division, Quarmy helped forest guards catch four rhino poachers. She also played a major part in helping nab 12 more rhino poachers by July 2018. “That was when we decided Quarmy needs her own Facebook page. She has quite a number of followers,” Mr. Das said.
Kaziranga, a major tiger reserve, is spread across 1,080 sq km.