Birds generally rely mostly on sight to locate their supper. But vultures like Sherlock have a keen sense of smell and are able to detect the scent of rotting flesh from 1,000 metres (3,000 feet) up in the air.
He can even find remains in woodland or in thick undergrowth. And unlike sniffer dogs, who need regular breaks, Sherlock is indefatigable and can cover vast tracts of land.[...]
The bird, whose is more at home soaring over South America's Andes or the Atacama Desert than northern Germany's Lueneburg Heath, is being taught by trainer German Alonso to love the putrid smell of dead human flesh.
Every day Alonso puts pieces of meat in small cups, on top of a strip of cloth -- provided by the police -- that has been used to cover a corpse. Sherlock's mission is to locate these tasty morsels.
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