CINCINNATI – After reading stories about dogs being used to detect cancer, an animal conservation scientist at the Cincinnati Zoo has enlisted the help of a Kansas handler to train a 2-year-old beagle named Elvis to help detect when polar bears are pregnant. The handler, who has taught dogs in the past to sniff out everything from explosives to bed bugs, has been training Elvis for a year – training that entails Elvis working through fecal samples of bears from 14 different zoos.
Confirming pregnancies of polar bears has proven difficult and zoo officials say having this information early can help them make sure they and the mama bears are ready for birthing and raising cubs.
Soon, the zoo will put Elvis to the test to see if he can sniff out any new polar bears in its future. Until then, below is a video of Elvis in training, courtesy of IronHeart High Performance Dogs.