Andy Murray (and Murray the dog) joins WWF fight against illegal trade

British No1 Andy Murray becomes a global ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund

Marianne Bevis
By Marianne Bevis

Andy Murray may have spent the last six weeks playing back-to-back tennis tournaments across half the globe—winning three titles in the process.

He may this week have headed straight back to the practice courts in the depths of London to prepare for the ATP World Tour Finals, where he begins his campaign on Sunday.

But he has still found time to make a big impression with his off-court activities this week.

Yesterday, he received one of the most prestigious of this year’s ATP World Tour Awards, the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian, for his work in raising funds for and awareness about cancer, UNICEF, United for Wildlife, and Malaria No More.

And today, he has announced a new role as global ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund, supporting the fight against poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

Murray is, in particular, lending his weight to an innovative initiative in Nepal that will train dogs to track down poaching activity in the Chitwan National Park.

Nepal is home to some of the world’s most endangered animals, such as the tiger, rhino and elephant, and all are under threat due to poaching for the illegal trade in animal parts. The region is also a key transit route for these products.

In honour of Murray’s support—and his love of dogs is well known—the WWF team is naming one of the puppies in its elite training team after him.

Murray explained why he—and ‘Murray’ the dog—is involved: “It’s a shocking fact that the rise in rhino poaching increased by 7,700 per cent between 2007 and 2013 and as few as 3,200 tigers remaining in the wild so anything we can do to deter poachers is a positive step in the right direction.

“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. 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.”

“Murray” has just completed his year’s training and is now being settled into his new home in Nepal along with another four dogs from around the globe.

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