After 40 days in a container, the dog Mili hired as a sniffer at an airport in Panama – World Today



She spent forty days in an empty container, without water or food, including twenty crossing the Atlantic between Spain and Panama: the dog Mili, a real miracle, now works at the international airport of Panama City to detect prohibited prohibited.

The dog’s odyssey began in mid-December 2021 when the container she is in left Algeciras in southern Spain. Twenty days later, the container was unloaded at the port terminal in Colon, Panama. Considered empty, it was then stored outside, at the mercy of the heat and bad weather. Until workers opened the seals twenty days later and discovered the little dog aged about one year, hungry and dehydrated.

“This is the story of a heroine”

“We don’t know how she was able to enter (in the container) and how she was not detected (…) This is the story of a heroine. Because an animal trapped in a container for forty days, without water, without food, how could it fight to survive? asks Cecilia de Escobar, National Director of Animal Health at the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA). “The container was corroded in one area, and discovered that there was a small hole there. We assumed that she had opened a small hole with her paw through which she was absorbing rainwater,” explains the manager.

(Luis Acosta/AFP)

The little dog with the caramel coat weighed only 4 kg when she was discovered. She was then taken to Panama City and treated by MIDA vets. Hugo Turillazzi, one of them, believes that the dog was in good physical condition before her departure and that she was able to survive thanks to her body reserves, rainwater, drops of condensation that formed inside the container and to his own urine.

“It’s a miracle that this little animal was able to survive, that’s why we named it” Milagros “(miracle in Spanish), his nickname is Mili”, explains the practitioner who indicates that the dog now weighs 12.2 kg and is doing great.

Detection of prohibited foodstuffs at the airport

Five months after her discovery, Mili is now part of the canine squad that operates at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. She started working a week ago with the task of detecting fresh foodstuffs in the luggage of travelers who are prohibited from entering the country because they are likely to transmit diseases to local cultures.

“Mili fulfills the four basic characteristics that a dog must have to enter the brigade: friendly, docile with people, playful and with a good appetite”, explains Edgardo Aguirre, her trainer. The dog, who nimbly weaves between the suitcases to detect any suspicious odor, has already spotted in a week a suitcase containing seeds, fruit and cold cuts. “It’s a scanner that doesn’t cost much,” adds veterinarian Turillazzi. “Just food and the tenderness that we bring to him”.

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