Google the Dog, known to our team as ‘the ultimate search engine,’ joined Panthera’s ranks in 2010 and is currently the only four-legged, floppy-eared member of Panthera’s staff (we think). In January 2011, Google became certified as an official jaguar scat detecting dog by the Miami K-9 Academy and is currently working with Panthera’s team of jaguar scientists in Costa Rica to locate jaguar scat (droppings).
Before Google joined Panthera’s team, our field scientists would frequently spend multiple days hiking through the dense rainforests of Costa Rica in search of jaguar scat. Now, with Google’s help, these searches for scat are far more efficient and accurate. When Google uses his skills to locate jaguar scat, he sits and is rewarded with his favorite toy – a large, red, and apparently yummy-tasting ball.
The jaguar scat that Google finds is packaged up and sent to the genetic laboratories at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the University of Costa Rica to be analyzed. These analyses provide Panthera’s scientists with critical information about the movements, genetic diversity, abundance and diets of jaguars in this region, and allow Panthera to better shape our jaguar conservation initiatives in Costa Rica and its surrounding countries.
Recently, Google’s trainer and owner, Carlos Orozco of the Hablemos de Perros organization, introduced Google to the second phase of his training – snake avoidance.
Photos of Google
Google’s Media Coverage
Panthera’s Coverage on Google
- Watch clips of Google’s training here and here.
- Rooting out Jaguar Poo with the World’s Ultimate Search Engine – Google the Dog
- Goggles for Google: Lessons in avoiding snakes