Elvis the beagle who enjoyed hunting rabbits, has a new job at the Shawnee Zoo, detecting pregnancy in Polar Bears. His owner Skogen a former canine handler at Overland Police Department, has trained dogs to find bombs, drugs and bedbugs.
When his owner Skogen got the call from a conservation scientist at the Cincinnati Zoo, even he was surprised. He was asked if he could train his dog to sniff out specific proteins found in the fecal matter of pregnant Polar Bears. Its true that Skogen has worked closely with this dogs for homeland security and the Federal Bank reserve, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to do this. It still caught him by surprise.
A beagle’s nose has an estimated 220 million scent receptors. After extensive
training they can detect certain odors from others and remember it. Beagle’s
like Cliff, who can sniff out C Diff, can also detect cancer. They can sniff out
certain scents, and detect them faster than, sending out a sample to a computer,
for analysis. Specifically they can recognize over 50 different scents.
Elvis has a 97 percent success rate, in detecting pregnancy in Polar Bears. Amazing right?
The center’s website says that traditional methods for detecting pregnancy, such as progesterone monitoring and ultrasound examination, are not effective at diagnosing pregnancy in polar bears, so researchers had to get creative.
Curry got the idea of turning to canines after reading about dogs being used to detect cancer.
SKogen admits that Elvis has an amazing nose. When he started out they received 200 samples of day, of polar bear fecal matter, that contain over 2,000 proteins. Only five of these proteins are consistent with Polar Bear pregnancy. Elvis was trained, to sniff out samples from non pregnant Polar Bears. Remember beagles can detect certain scents from others, and store them.
His beagle Elvis loves the work. He gets to enjoy what does naturally. I bet after
a hard days work, he gets lots of love and play.
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