Elvis, the beagle in training to sniff out polar bear pregnancy

This week is Polar Bear Week and I was going to celebrate by sharing some polar bear facts with you but then I came across a story so sublimely eccentric I had to share it with you.

Denver Zoo has enlisted the help of a beagle called Elvis to sniff poo in an attempt to identify if their polar bear called Cranbeary is pregnant!

Elvis and his marvellous nose has a talent for identifying pregnant females by sniffing samples of poo, so scientists at Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) are putting him through his paces to determine if he can correctly predict if a polar bear is pregnant.

According to Denver Zoo, female polar bears behave differently when pregnant, preferring to isolate themselves and not eating, drinking or defecating for months. If zoo keepers know their female polar bear is pregnant, she can be treated accordingly and given some peace and quiet. Females that aren’t pregnant prefer to socialise with others.

The scientists at CREW will reveal Elvis’ predictions in a few weeks’ time but in the meantime, Polar Bear Week will continue until 10 November. Organised by Polar Bears International, the week aims to raise awareness about the polar bear and its habitats.

Find out more about Elvis and Cranbeary here.

Learn more about Polar Bear Week here.

For photos, videos, and more facts about polar bears visit the ARKive website.


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