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German Police Train Vultures To Find Bodies

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the go-find-him-boy dept.

Crime 54

abhatt writes "German authorities have found vultures as very valuable creatures and as such have trained some of them to be detectives. The work of the vultures is well defined — as you might have guessed they are being used to find hidden bodies. From the article: 'A police officer in Hannover, Rainer Herrmann, told reporters that, "The vultures may work much more effectively than sniffer dogs... There's a lot of interest in this. We've had inquiries from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.'"

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Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

maliqua (1316471) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394380)

Vultures already knew how to find bodies!

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394716)

Pfft. Next you'll be trying to tell me I didn't need to catch and eat all those mice, and shit in kitty litter for a week when training our cat.

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399254)

Next you'll be trying to tell me I didn't need to catch and eat all those mice, and shit in kitty litter for a week when training our cat.

Or lick your own...nevermind.

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394802)

They're training a specific kind of vulture which doesn't like rotting meat.

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394892)

Vultures already knew how to find bodies!

Yes, but they need to be trained to share.

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36396858)

Officer : We found the body of that missing person. Eyeballs? what eyeballs? Are you sure, he had those before?

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (2)

lbft (950835) | more than 3 years ago | (#36395528)

Much like the hawks at Wimbledon that chase away the pigeons, the hard part is overriding the instinct to eat it once they've found it.

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

Meski (774546) | more than 3 years ago | (#36396960)

That's probably not a problem, but making them want to chase pigeons after they've eaten one would be. (go way! wanna sleep!)

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

sigxcpu (456479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36396094)

It's Germany, everything has a training program and everything has a manual.
I bet the police even train in drinking beer.

Re:Trained vultures to find bodies? (1)

mwanaheri (933794) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397726)

See, that's the problem with the 'koma-drinking' teenagers. They drink before they have benn trained to drink! no drining-licence.

Ingenious! (5, Funny)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394442)

Now they just need to train priests to find missing children!

Re:Ingenious! (4, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394922)

Well, that covers boys, but what about girls?

Re:Ingenious! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36395106)

Members of the US Legislature?

Re:Ingenious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36395820)

Not the outspokenly anti-gay conservatives, though.

Re:Ingenious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36396338)

Lawyers.

Re:Ingenious! (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397648)

They can use those to find hidden money

Re:Ingenious! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397542)

No problem, as long as they have a Twitter account...

Re:Ingenious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397590)

Take Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi! No training needed.

Re:Ingenious! (1)

chocapix (1595613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397632)

Use French politicians.

Re:Ingenious! (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399832)

Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi [cnn.com] should be able to help on with that.

Re:Ingenious! (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36395160)

Might be difficult. I don't think dogs get excited when you put a leash and collar on them.

Re:Ingenious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36409844)

And IT staff to find missing memory and disks

Story is a year old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36394454)

And they're just testing whether it might be an option.

I trained bloodhounds to do this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36394460)

I actually trained my bloodhounds to find bodies underwater. I would have them sit in the boat and they would put their heads over the gunwales when they were over a dead body they would bay and get excited. Even worked well with moving bodies of water you just had to look a bit further upstream for the bodies which would typically be stuck in underbrush or on a decaying log. Oldest successful tracking on land was 10 days old. Bloodhounds are really amazing creatures.

Re:I trained bloodhounds to do this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36395006)

Oh yeah? I actually trained my pet goat to find bodies in outer space. The record so far has been absolutely spotless!

In a related story... (2)

errxn (108621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394504)

German police train flies to find shit. Film at 11.

Re:In a related story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36394526)

This I gotta see!

Re:In a related story... (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397924)

I saw something about training bees to detect explosives (and other chemicals). Apparently you puff the vapour at the bee and give it a hit of sugar and for the next few hours it gets excited when it detects the same smell. Very sensitive but you have to retrain the insect every time you use it.

Vultures... trained to find bodies? (2)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394822)

As absurd as the idea of needing to train vultures sounds at first, I'd guess the training has more to do with finding human bodies instead of every road kill in 10 km radius, and vulture coming back instead of heading south after having a quick snack from the body found, and other little practicalities like that.

And the project ended (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394950)

...when the vultures kept eating the bodies they were trained to find. I think families would be a little disturbed if they found out their dearest departed were also 'vulture chow', courtesy of the local constabulary.

Re:And the project ended (3, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#36395050)

better than the body simply being missing with no clues.
Bodies would be damaged by scavengers anyway.

Re:And the project ended (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36395840)

better than the body simply being missing with no clues. Bodies would be damaged by scavengers anyway.

Let's just say the irony of your comment combined with your handle was not missed by this observer.

Re:And the project ended (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 3 years ago | (#36404334)

And that reminds me of the grossest cartoon in a magazine that I've ever seen. It was in Hustler about 25 years ago. I'll let you imagine it yourself.

Re:Vultures... trained to find bodies? (1)

virginiajim (1042226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405230)

Vultures detect carrion using smell, so you need knowledge of wind patterns where they are circling to determine carrion location. This has been suggested for use in the US when searching for a missing person, who might still be alive. While it sounds feasible, there is an associated cost in resources, which are usually limited, unless ornithologists and meteorologists are readily available and have access to local data about wind conditions. Wind conditions close to the ground, say up to 1000 feet can be variable: you can't just look at which direction the clouds are moving. Then you need to triangulate vulture locations, probably by ground observers at two or three locations trained to use compasses and maps. (The fire observers in fire watch towers do this type of location work for fires, or used to, for the US Forest Service.)

I love it (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36394994)

From what I hear, through people some may consider eccentric (undue criticism), vultures show amazing prescience and aptitude. But they've been under prejudice (perhaps well earned) for so long that they are one of those animals that haven't been as thoroughly studied as something cuter or more docile (and not associated with being the last thing you see before you die).

I wonder what the third vulture is thinking. Is there some vulture rule of thumb that only two need to be in the air to find a body, and the third is just doviding tasks by staying on tthe ground (since he noticed that that's what his caretakers are doing)? Or, if theybwere in the wild, perhaps hunting parties include ground members that use tracking skills and other faculties that can't be applied in the air? Or maybe he's just another lazy pig?

Science!

seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36395042)

on a serious note:

its the same issue with training pigs to find truffles: The real trick is to teach them NOT to eat what they find.

Those krafty krauts!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36395396)

After all, who has the most experience in producing and hiding large numbers of dead bodies?

Re:Those krafty krauts!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397688)

Lenin

Re:Those krafty krauts!!! (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398310)

I think Stalin beat him, but point well made.

Optimal use of resources? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36395638)

Germany has, on average, approximately 200 murders per year. In total.

How many of those cases involve a long hunt for the body? I don't know, let's guess 10%.

How many of those bodies are dumped out in the open, where a vulture will find it?

Seriously, I'd love to see the cost/benefit analysis for Germany, of all places, to be doing this.

If it were Texas, that'd be a different matter.

Corrected Summary: (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | more than 3 years ago | (#36395676)

Vultures Show German Police How to Find Bodies

Train Vultures? (1)

LanceUppercut (766964) | more than 3 years ago | (#36395698)

They have train vultures now? Ugh... Next time I'm in Germany I'll better take a car or a bus.

Good Job (2)

Obble (1680532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36396048)

I can just imagine how this will work,

I am truly sorry for your loss Miss Gottschalk, but your husband body was found by our flying vulture team. He was floating in the river and his left eye was eaten by one of our teammates.

 

That's Very, er, Zoroastrian. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36396222)

Saying it kills two birds with might be too much of and inapt metaphor. And it might scare the birds. Would that be construed as interfering with "police work"?

Do they moonlight in sanitation, as wel? Double employment reduces costs and is rated as increased efficiency.

But, I'm confused. Won't the lawyers feel ignored?

What happens when they congregate over parliaments and congresses?

slight distraction (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36396454)

German police declined to comment on why vultures trained to find dead bodies were found flying in frantic circles over local McDonald's restaurants.

What? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36396568)

Didn't they already use lawyers before?

Re:What? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398618)

Didn't they already use lawyers before?

Yes, but they had to update the vulture training program when it was discovered that even vultures won't eat a dead lawyer.

Re:What? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36400710)

Use vultures to find other vultures?

Why'd U avoid this SIMPLE question, troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36401322)

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2225174&cid=36390518 [slashdot.org] Because it shows you for who & what you REALLY are, Linux troll?? Absolutely. Caught red-handed, with your pants down troll, lol... can't "face the music" of your OWN screwup, troll??? Again, absolutely.

Seems the troll called "drinkypoo" can troll others, but when it's done to he in a retrolling? He runs away... lol, & from a SIMPLE question.

I doubt there was an inquiry from Austria (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397414)

as the vultures come from a Zoo/breeder in Austria ;-)

Re:I doubt there was an inquiry from Austria (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397738)

So the Austrians are breeding trained vultures? That would fit, as they are also said to produce jam by squeezing Krapfen (kind of jam-filled, Bavarian donut)

Re:I doubt there was an inquiry from Austria (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398326)

No the vultures are their heraldic animals.

-

BTW The Krapfen are Berliners, not Bavarian Donuts.

So beware of saying: Ich bin ein Berliner *g*

I have a mind of a maniac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398312)

I read the headline as "German Police Train Vultures To Find Boobies".

Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398834)

What's a Train Vulture, and why are Germans policing them?

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