A real McGruff takes a bite out of the crime in Colombia and sniffs to high-profile drug busts – and now the cartels have taken notice of it.
A Colombian drug syndicate already has one with a bounty of $ 7,000 on Sombras furry head and trying to quickly beat the six-year-old dog owner, the officials said.
The German shepherd dog has already followed her nose to a record number of drug investigations and hid hidden suitcases in boats and even big fruit shows. She helped the police take more than 2,000 kilos of cocaine off the road.
Recent busts of Sombra – Spanish for Shadow – include the detection of over five tons of cocaine hidden in boxes of bananas destined for Europe. A few months ago, the stubborn dog snorted 77 kilos of cocaine deep in an industrial machine.
"Their sense of smell goes far beyond that of other dogs," said Jose Rojas, Sombra's 25-year-old handler to the Associated Press.
But this talent could end up spoiling it.
The Golf Clan – one of Colombia's most powerful cartels, even with its own guerrilla army – has spent a $ 7,000 reward on anyone killing or killing the clever dog.
The threat prompted officials to transfer the puppy from their busy post on the Colombian Caribbean coast to the more private El Dorado International Airport in Bogota.
Investigators revealed the threat to Sombra after conducting an intercepted investigation telephone conversation, local newspapers reported.
"Sombra, the German shepherd, has become the terror of criminal organizations," according to a recent story in El Espectador newspaper in Colombia.
Her detective work is essential in Colombia, wrestling with the rapid production of cocaine. A recent White House report found that the amount of land used for the harvest increased by 11 percent in 2017, despite US $ 10 billion in anti-drug activities were.
The designated Ivan Duque promises a harder drug approach, including aerial spraying and the use of drones. But even with advanced technology, experts say detective work on the ground, like Sombra, is critical.
The Colombian National Police estimate that they have lost at least 1,800 officers – and a number of dogs – in the fight against drugs over the past two decades. Several bitches were killed as they helped the officers eradicate coca harvests.
Sombras Siege has turned her into a media favorite, and as she wanders around Bogota's airport with her guide, fans occasionally stop her for a selfie.
Rojas said the star-like attention had not been directed to Sombras head.
"Sombra is much easier to handle than other dogs," he said. "She understands commands from one leader, and she's more playful than the others."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.