Anti-terror goat: It may sound like a prank, but 29-year-old dog trainer Geva Zin from Kibbutz Lahav in the south is in fact training a goat to detect explosives, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
Zin is trying to solve a problem that has been troubling IDF soldiers and American fighters in Iraq: How to detect explosive materials hidden on one's body, as in the case when dealing with suicide bombers.
Explosive-sniffing dogs may be the obvious solution, yet using a dog in Muslim societies would be problematic and offensive to the local population.
Zin, who runs a kennel in Kibbutz Lahav, has already trained dogs and even pigs to sniff out explosive materials and uncover mines.
Following reports on Zin's success in training pigs for such mission, military officials turned to him with a request to train animals that would be less problematic in the eyes of Muslims.
According to Zin, the problem is critical in countries that suffer from increasing Islamic terrorism, such as Iraq, Chechnya, and some
Middle Eastern nations.
"When I served as a dog trainer in the army, there was a problem of getting dogs into certain vehicles due to the presence of Islamic holy books in the car. The placing of dogs in homes also provoked fury and anger among people who were not involved in terrorism and were merely screened. Compared to that, a goat is a very friendly animal and it is accepted in the Muslim world," Zin said.
His breakthrough came with a young goat he was raising, Lalosha, who is able to sniff out explosives.
The minute she identifies explosive material, she sits down, giving a signal to a soldier next to her that the individual in question must be carefully checked.