WTF Fun Fact 13413 – Drug Sniffing Squirrels

Here’s a headline that’ll make your eyebrows do a double-take: drug-sniffing squirrels in China are redefining the scope of law enforcement.

A fuzzy new force for good

These petite yet potent, law enforcement allies are as cute as they are formidable. Unlike the typical police dogs, we’re used to seeing sniff out illegal substances, these squirrels are a new addition to China’s crime-fighting team, bringing the notion of ‘community policing’ to a whole new level – or should we say, tree branch!

For those skeptical at the concept of a squirrel cracking down on crime, allow me to expound. Through a training regime crafted with surgical precision, China’s authorities have managed to harness the squirrels’ extraordinary sense of smell. Their olfactory prowess rivals that of dogs and, with their small size and agility, they can access locations that might prove challenging for their canine counterparts.

How do you train drug-sniffing squirrels?

What about the training, you ask? Well, it’s not your ordinary game of fetch. These tiny recruits undergo an intense program that would have even Rocky Balboa trembling. It starts off with simple scent recognition exercises, progressing to more complex tasks such as distinguishing between different drugs. Talk about high stakes hide-and-seek!

But there’s more to this bushy-tailed bunch than meets the eye. Unlike dogs, squirrels are inherently more cautious, making them perfect for covert operations. Their nimble bodies can slip into tight spots, making them invaluable in search-and-seize missions. The very inconspicuousness of squirrels allows them to operate under the radar, so drug traffickers are none the wiser.

Now, don’t get too carried away picturing these squirrels donning tiny police vests and racing off to chase down criminals. The reality, while just as intriguing, is a bit more down to earth. Primarily, these squirrels assist in identifying and locating substances hidden in inaccessible places. Nonetheless, their role is crucial to China’s ongoing war against drug trafficking.

Squirrely success

Moving on to the stats, China’s squirrel squadron started with six members in 2017, handpicked from infancy for their prospective roles in the force. After a year of intense training, these six squirrel soldiers successfully completed their mission in locating hidden substances. Their hard-earned success has sparked a potential revolution in law enforcement practices.

However, this strategy isn’t without its critics. There are questions regarding the ethics of using wildlife for law enforcement purposes. Yet, it’s hard to deny the tangible results these squirrels are producing. So, the debate continues. For now, though, these bushy-tailed heroes are keeping the streets safer, one nut at a time.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “A squad of drug-sniffing squirrels is training to join China’s police” — Washington Post

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