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Nepal Earthquake: Man’s best buddy is making its contribution count

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

No doubt, help is pouring over disaster-struck Nepal from every corner of the world. With pledges of money, water and food supplies, every country is doing its bit to offer relief to this land-locked country.

In fact, in this hour of crisis, human’s best buddy is also making its contribution count.

Notably, the canine mates possess special abilities to sniff and locate the remains of people who are stuck or buried beneath the rubble. Body structure of dogs allows them to climb high on the mountains, thus speeding up the rescue process.

Just a few hours after the powerful 7.9 earthquake jolted Nepal, India sent a pack of sniffer dogs to Kathmandu via an IAF craft to help with the rescue operations. The sniffer dogs were part of India’s first rescue deployment.

Just a day after the disastrous earthquake, a team of six Essex firefighters and rescue dog Darcy have joined the international operation to assist with the earthquake recovery operation.

Five dogs from Gilroy, United States, were also sent to Nepal to look for people who may be buried alive under tons of debris due to the deadly earthquake.

Pluis Davern, who trains the highly skilled dogs, said, “Those disaster search dogs are going to be incredibly helpful. They cover terrain that we as humans never can, and pinpoint where potentially people who are still alive are buried.”

These dogs have been trained to bark as soon as they sniff the scent of a living person.

“It’s electrifying, because there is a chance to save somebody who otherwise, potentially, would never be found,” he said.

A team of 15 volunteers and six dogs were sent to Nepal from France and Spain to lend a hand in the rescue operations.

“These dogs have a vital role in identifying victims buried under the debris,” said Jose Castello, a volunteer with Intervention Ayuda Emergencical (IAE).

Hitherto, nearly 5,000 people have been reported dead after a powerful 7.9-magnitude struck Nepal on last Saturday.

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Overweight And Normal Dogs Behavior Similar To Humans

The behavior had possible parallels with overweight people

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A Labrador retriever named Jack dines at a pet restaurant in San Juan, Manila, Philippines, Sept. 6, 2014.
A Labrador retriever named Jack dines at a pet restaurant in San Juan, Manila, Philippines, Sept. 6, 2014. VOA

Researchers in Hungary who found that normal and overweight dogs behaved differently in tasks involving food say the dogs’ responses were similar to those that might be expected from normal and overweight humans.

The study suggested dogs could be used as models for future research into the causes and psychological impact of human obesity, the authors of the paper from Budapest’s ELTE University said.

Researchers put two bowls — one holding a good meal, the other empty or containing less attractive food — in front of a series of dogs.

The study found that canines of a normal weight continued obeying instructions to check the second bowl for food, but the obese ones refused after a few rounds.

“We expected the overweight dog to do anything to get food, but in this test, we saw the opposite. The overweight dogs took a negative view,” test leader Orsolya Torda said.

Dog
Dog, Pixabay

“If a situation is uncertain and they cannot find food, the obese dogs are unwilling to invest energy to search for food — for them, the main thing is to find the right food with least energy involved.”

The behavior had possible parallels with overweight people who see food as a reward, said the paper, which was published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. (VOA)