Thursday, December 17, 2020

Florida's new python-sniffing dog Truman bags 8-foot python, is confirmed to be a good boy

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 6:38 PM

  • Photo courtesy FWC

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's new program to train dogs to sniff out Burmese pythons is a success!

FWC recently started training a black Labrador, Truman, and a point setter dog called Eleanor to recognize a python's particular scent. Truman and Eleanor are supposed to alert handlers when they catch a whiff of python, while keeping a safe distance from the snakes.

The two dogs worked for a month at this task, even training with live pythons in the final stages.

The work paid off big time last week when Truman found an 8-foot Burmese python in the Rocky Glades Public Small Game Hunting Area in Miami-Dade County.

Detector dogs are already used by FWC to track down everything from bedbugs to sea turtle nests. Truman and Eleanor are going to have their work cut out for them, though, since the invasive Burmese pythons are estimated to number between 100,000 and 300,000 in Florida, according to the AP.

The pythons are finding the Everglades a particularly welcoming home, as they have no natural predators, and are disruptive to the natural ecosystem.

“They’re hard workers, commissioners. They really are very dedicated and you can see that they’re very proud and they should be,” said FWC Executive Director Sutton about the detector dogs during a virtual commission meeting on Wednesday.

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