Dog sniffs out polar bear pregnancies

SHAWNEE, Kan. - Elvis the Beagle from Shawnee, Kan., is getting national attention for his unique talent. He was trained by Matt Skogen, owner of Iron Heart High Performance Working Dogs company.

With one whiff of a fecal sample from a female polar bear, Elvis can determine if the polar bear is pregnant. Even the Kansas City Zoo is asking Elvis for help.

"Elvis is an amazing dog," Skogen said. "It never ceases to amaze me the skills these dogs have."

Elvis' accuracy rating is 95 percent.

Skogen trained Elvis by letting her smell known positive fecal samples from pregnant polar bears. Now, KC Zoo officials want to know if Berlin, the female polar bear, is pregnant.

"We know Nikita and Berlin had relations in February or March so we've been hopeful," Director of Living Collections at the Kansas City Zoo Sean Putney said.

Putney also said zoo officials have separated Berlin and Nikita because they were not getting along which he explained is another sign that a polar bear could be pregnant.

"In nature, once a polar bear is pregnant, she separates from the male and spends the next couple of years raising the cub on her own," Putney explained. "The male polar bear is actually the greatest threat to the survival of the polar bear cub because the cut is a consuming food,  and is a potential food source."

One of the samples Elvis will smell is from Berlin.  If he smells the fecal sample and sits down, that means a baby cub is on the way.

We should know by Friday if Elvis believes Berlin is pregnant.

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