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South African Academy Trains Anti-Poaching Dogs

“Venom and Killer. These are members of a furry breed of anti-poaching operatives, dogs that can detect a whiff of hidden rhino horn in a suspect’s vehicle or follow the spoor of armed poachers in South Africa’s besieged wildlife parks. Dogs are a small part of an increasingly desperate struggle to curb poaching in Africa, where tens of thousands of elephants have been slaughtered in recent years to meet a surging appetite for ivory in Asia, primarily China. In South Africa, poachers have killed more than 1,000 rhinos this year, surpassing the 2013 record. Countries and conservationists are trying more robust patrols and surveillance, community programs and other tactics against criminal gangs that sometimes benefit from official corruption. As the conflict rages, elite dogs and handlers are drilling at an anti-poaching academy northwest of Johannesburg. The course prepares canine units to find firearms or contraband, track suspects in the undergrowth and abseil in harnesses from helicopters in pursuit of poachers. Dogs and handlers learn to trust each other and fine tune a relationship balancing control and aggression”. – Christopher Torchia via The Associated Press.

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In this photo taken Wednesday, November 26, 2014 attack dogs and their handlers apprehend a “rhino poacher” center, after alighting from a helicopter into water, in a simulation exercise showing training at an academy run by the Paramount Group, near Rustenburg, South Africa. The course prepares canine units to find firearms or contraband, track suspects in the undergrowth and abseil in harnesses from helicopters in pursuit of poachers. Dogs and handlers learn to trust each other and fine tune a relationship balancing control and aggression. (Photo by Denis Farrell/AP Photo)
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Philippines Mermaid Swimming Academy

Filipino mermaid swimming teacher Genevieve Reyes (C) has her tail adjusted by students during a lesson by the Philippines Mermaid Swimming Academy in a private swimming pool in Makati, Manila, Philippines, 15 June 2013. The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy (PMSA) was created in 2012 in Boracay by Normeth Preglo of The Philippines and US swimming instructor Djuna Rocha. The swimming lessons were brought to Manila in April 2013. The price for a two-hour class is 37 US dollars. Photos by Dennis M. Sabangan/EPA. Continue reading »

MCF Academy




In 2010, MCF plans to open the first school in post-war Liberia that will offer free education, including room and board, to 200 students. The MCF Academy is designed by acclaimed architect Winka Dubbeldam, principal of the world-renowned firm Archi-Tectonics, NYC. Dubbeldam unveiled her plans for the academy (see more images, below) at the MCF Fashion Week After Party on February 20, 2009. To realize this dream, MCF Academy needs your support.