Here’s something we didn’t know before. Since 2008, India has been using sniffer dogs to sniff out poachers and aid officers in finding those responsible for committing wildlife crime.
There are currently 12 trained sniffer dogs deployed in the field, attached to the forest departments of Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.
Another 14 dogs currently under training will soon join the wildlife sniffer dog troupe.
Some of the work they’ve done:
Jimmy (on the right) has helped bust at least 25 wildlife poaching and smuggling cases – nabbing poachers, detecting and seizing star tortoises, skins and bones of tigers and leopards, detecting sambar meat, birds and other wildlife contraband.
In September 2010, seven villagers in Buldhana district killed a leopard and hid its body parts. They were arrested on strong suspicions, but there was no evidence against them and they denied the crime.
So Raja, the sniffer dog (on the left) deployed at Bhrampuri Wildlife Division, Maharashtra was called in to sniff some of the leopard body parts left behind in the forest.
Raja was able to positively identify the seven accused and also discover the hidden leopard parts that had put in a plastic bag and thrown in the pond.