Dogs helping scientists find tortoises, orcas and koalas? Is there anything man’s best friend CAN’T do? It’s pretty amazing to see the ways that dogs are helping us save endangered species, and now dogs are helping researchers determine population numbers of the Cross River gorilla.

Unfortunately, the Cross River gorilla is so endangered that it is considered to be the world’s rarest gorilla. It’s difficult to count these animals, so researchers turned to some special shelter dogs to help them with the task.

After training the dogs to detect particular odors, the dogs sought out fresh gorilla feces, allowing researchers to analyze DNA to determine unique individuals and track movements of groups of gorillas. The dogs have made a huge impact on data collection, and hopefully, more dogs will be employed in the efforts to save endangered species! Read more about it here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/running-ponies/2015/02/24/shelter-dogs-are-helping-sniff-out-worlds-rarest-gorillas/

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