Tennis star and animal lover Andy Murray will be helping to end poaching in Nepal by supporting a program that trains dogs to sniff out the bad guys and stop them from destroying the local tiger and rhino populations.
“I think it’s incredibly important that this trade is prevented and the sniffer dog programme seemed like the perfect venture for me to get behind,” explained Murray in a press release. “I know from my own dogs how clever they can be and it’s fascinating how they communicate with their handlers.”
Murray was announced as World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) global ambassador on Thursday. His job is to raise awareness and funds during the 2015 tennis tour for programs in Nepal.
“I’ve followed WWF’s work on the illegal wildlife trade for a while now and been looking for a way to support the campaign,” he admitted.
Murray is in good company trying to stop poachers from decimating the wildlife population. Fellow Brits Prince William and David Beckham announced earlier this year they were launching a campaign to boycott ivory products gotten from the illegal wildlife trade. Leonardo DiCaprio is not only working on two different movies on poaching, but has donated $3 million to help save tigers in Nepal. Emma Stone supported the ‘Puppy Protector’ program in March, which trains puppies to become dogs that sniff out wildlife crimes scenes, illegal trade products, can chase down poachers and track animals.
“Nepal has witnessed great strides in wildlife conservation by working on actions against poaching and illegal trade of animals and their body parts,” explained Kamal Jung Kunwar, chief conservation officer at the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in Nepal. “However, combating wildlife trade in Nepal is still a big challenge for us as it is a key transit route for illegal trade of animal parts, including rhino horns and tiger parts, from India to China.”
Murray’s support will help deter that that transit and help save the few rhinos left in the wild.