A 6-year-old drug-sniffing police dog named Sombra is so good at her job that a Colombian drug cartel has put a $7,000 dollar bounty on her head, the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday.
Sombra, a German Shephard, has sniffed out contraband at one of Colombia’s Caribbean port cities for years, but police relocated her to the capital after the Gulf Clan cartel got sick of her savvy snout and put out a hit on her. Sombra — whose name means Shadow in English — now serves 6-hour shifts at the El Dorado International Airport, to which she commutes in a van with tinted windows and typically two guards.
“Her sense of smell is far beyond that of other dogs,” officer Jose Rojas, Sombra’s 25-year-old handler, told the Times. “We are responsible for her safety.” (RELATED: Washington D.C. Has More Drug Problems Than Anywhere Else In The Country)
Sombra has become a media celebrity in Colombia after sniffing out thousands of pounds of cocaine from illicit packages that were supposed to contain things like sneakers and necklaces. Her cushy airport job is far less risky than her tour of duty in Colombia’s ports, where drug activity is far more common.
Colombia’s drug trade has claimed the lives of 1,800 human officers and several dogs at the hands of everything from hitmen to dangerous police operations. (RELATED: Resurgent Colombian Cartels Are Flooding U.S. Streets With Cocaine)
Rojas says Sombra is enjoying her post at the airport, where she gets to interact with strangers who often stop to take selfies with her.
“Sombra in comparison to other dogs is much easier to work with,” Rojas said. “She understands orders from a leader and she’s more playful than the others.”
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