Zorba, India’s first dog to be deployed for tracking down poachers in the northeast, passed away last night due to age and health-related issues. The 12-year-old male Belgian Malinois was a member of Aaranyak’s ‘K9’, the country’s first dog squad for wildlife crimes. 

Aaranyak is a leading wildlife NGO based in Guwahati. Its mission is to foster the conservation of biodiversity in Northeast India. In a statement, Aaranyak said Zorba took his last breath at around 10 pm yesterday (Monday) in Guwahati. 

“We are deeply saddened to inform you all that Zorba, the first member of our K9 unit, took his last breath at around 10 pm yesterday in Guwahati due to old age and prevailing health conditions,” the organisation said. 

Zorba, a Belgian Malinois, was the first dog deployed in the country to track down Rhino Poachers. 

With an eight-year career covering several rhino protection areas in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, and Orang National Park, Zorba was actively engaged in anti-poaching operations.

In his years-long service, Zorba helped wildlife officials track down more than 60 poachers in the state and was ferociously involved in anti-poaching operations. 

After being relieved from duty in December 2019, Zorba was in intensive care in Aaranyak’s K9 unit center. “Our prayers will always be with him and his contributions will always be cherished,” Aaranyak said.

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