Killer Whale Poop: A Tasty Treat for Dogs
November 22 | 1 Comment
I like poop just as much as the next dog. In fact, one of my favorite treats is my feline sister Moose’s anal extractions. I know that sounds gross, so I’ll call it for what it’s known around the house, Kitty Snickers.
After downing a bar of the chocolatie delicasy, I’m not allowed to lick my parents. Frankly, it’s not something I do often anyway. Soap residue tastes just awful.
So I read in today’s paper that there’s a dog who’s got the enviable task of searching for whale poop! In my view, that’s the equivalent of going to an all you can eat buffet.
Some guys have all the luck.
The Province newspaper shares the details.
VICTORIA – Killer whale poop, sniffed out by a specially trained, excitable Labrador-cross, is showing that endangered southern resident orcas may not be finding enough to eat.
Researchers from the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology have just completed their third season testing whale scat around Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound, looking for clues to why the population is shrinking.
“What pops out right away is that there are lower thyroid hormone levels in the years when there are higher rates of mortality,” said Katherine Ayres, a graduate student who is working on the whale project with Sam Wasser, director of the centre.
No, what pops out right away is the size of whale scat. It makes an elephant dump look small in comparison. That’s how I imagine it, anyway.
The slimy, green excrement is found by Tucker, a four-year-old Lab who stands on the bow of the center’s research boat and goes into paroxysms of excitement when he smells whale poop, which means it can be scooped by researchers.
Last year, researchers tried following the pods more closely and scooping poop without Tucker’s help, but it was found everything worked better with a dog.
And so it is in life, everything IS better with a dog.