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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vulture Detective Training Hits Headwinds

As if unemployment wasn’t already high enough, in Germany they are trying out vultures as detectives.  It’s not working too well, though:

Police in the German state of Lower Saxony had ambitious plans to search
for corpses with vultures, a tactic that could have been revolutionary
in locating missing persons. The idea sparked widespread interest among
law enforcement officials. Unfortunately the raptors themselves have
little interest in the job.


Despite years of training, Sherlock's success has been limited. While he can locate a stinking burial shroud which the police gave the bird park to use for training purposes and which is clearly marked with a yellow plastic cup, Sherlock doesn't approach the shroud by air. He prefers to travel by foot.

"He hops around a 20-square-meter (215-square-feet) grassy area until he finds the cloth," bird park spokesman Stefan Freundlieb told SPIEGEL.

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