In their fight against drug traffickers, police in the Chinese city of Chongqing have started to employ specially trained squirrels.

The first batch of drug-sniffing squirrels in China has been successfully produced by the Police Dog Brigade of the Criminal Police Detachment in Hechuan District, Chongqing. The discovery was a result of a crucial national research and development initiative that intended, among other things, to create new techniques for training anti-drug animals. Scientists have reportedly known for a long time about squirrels’ excellent sense of smell, but it appears that up until now, rodent training techniques have not progressed enough.


Chinese media recently announced that the Hechuan District Police Dog Brigade has trained six drug-detecting squirrels, who will soon begin assisting law enforcement in the discovery of concealed illegal narcotics.
The six squirrels were trained by the Hechuan police dog brigade’s lead trainer, Yin Jin, and his crew utilizing internally-developed training techniques and technology. According to reports, the rodents were taught to scratch where they found medications.

Tests revealed that squirrels are not only equally effective at sniffing out drugs as sniffer dogs, but also have the added benefit of being smaller, faster, and able to access high places that canines could never investigate.