Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rescue dogs lend a nose to wildlife.

Four rescued retrievers have recently graduated as the US Fish and Wildlife Services first ever wildlife detector dogs. They are trained to sniff out snake skins, ivory, and other illegal animal products. 

Endangered Rhino.
Image from takepart.com
Inspecting shipping crates takes hours and hours for human inspectors. A person has to open the crate and go through every item inside. A well trained dog can get the job done in minutes. The dogs even have fun doing it; Yahoo News compares it to a scavenger hunt. They get to hop on conveyer belts, jump over stacks of boxes, and perform an important task.

To begin with the dogs will be assigned at major ports that serve as hubs for the illegal trade, helping to protect several endangered species. To put the business into perspective, rhino horns fetch up to $65,000 per kilo, and there are only 3,000 black rhinos left in the world.

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