A software firm has developed a pioneering artificial intelligence technology to combat the poaching of rhinos and elephants.
South African entrepreneur Colleen Glaeser is the global marketing director for AxxonSoft and runs multiple tech and securities businesses.
She also owns a luxury safari lodge in South Africa and, having seen an increase in poaching over the past decade, knew she had to do something to help prevent the catastrophe from growing.
She has worked with a team at AxxonSoft to develop the state-of-the-art proactive surveillance technology that identifies poaching threats across Southern Africa.
“Coming from South Africa, growing up surrounded by these majestic animals and the exquisite plains of the African continent, seeing the destruction that poaching has imposed on my country and the continent is devastating,” she said. “The protection of wildlife is very close to my heart.
“I have been in the security and surveillance industry for the past 25 years, and I knew that I had to use my knowledge and expertise to create proactive technology that can aid and impact the anti-poaching initiative.”
Anti-poaching surveillance in the past has been very reactive, which often means that the anti-poaching unit gets to the scene of the crime too late.
“The global team and I have worked tirelessly to create a system that addresses poaching head on,” continued Glaeser.
“The deep learning technology we have pioneered can detect the difference between humans and animals.
“This is ground-breaking news because in the past, technology could not differentiate between various animals and humans, which often set off false alarms.
“With this new technology, as soon as there is a breach, the surveillance centre is immediately notified. Cameras are used to identify where the breach has occurred, and they can pick up exactly where the threat has taken place and the guard centre is immediately notified and the anti-poaching unit is dispatched.
“This has proved very successful in preventing killings as the team is able to get to the scene of the crime quickly.”
Glaeser is also working with British actor and author Peter Meyer on his various anti-poaching initiatives to raise awareness across the UK and Europe. Meyer grew up in the South African bush and is heartbroken by the poaching crisis in his beloved country.
AxxonSoft is also working with various game reserves and parks across the region to combat poaching in high risk areas.