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Still Waters

Beagle trained to detect pregnant polar bears

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Zoos around the U.S.will soon find out whether a beagle named Elvis can let them know when their polar bears are pregnant.

The two-year-old dog has been specially trained for a year by a Kansas handler who has taught canines to sniff out everything from explosives to bed bugs.

A Cincinnati Zoo animal conservation scientist had the idea after reading about studies on using dogs to detect cancer.


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You know what would be an easier and more cost effective method for conserving polar bear populations? How about getting the Canadian government to reduce the number of bears hunted each year? News article here.

"Canada, home to 60 per cent of the world’s polar bears, is the only country in the world to permit international commercial trade in the animals’ body parts. About 500 of the roughly 15,000 polar bears that live in Canada are killed legally each year. Pelts, skulls, claws and teeth are exported worldwide.

The U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that good pelts sell for $10,000 apiece, while a single tooth can command $200.

To qualify for a kill licence in Canada, a polar bear hunter must either hire an aboriginal guide or be aboriginal."

And yes, it's newly rich Chinese men buying these polar skins to show off their wealth.

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