IU Southeast Magazine - Spring 2014 - page 30

endangered or threatened species but
international laws, too.
Wildlife inspectors enforce what is
known as CITES, or the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It is
an international agreement that aims
to ensure that international trade in
specimens of wild animals and plants
does not threaten their survival.
“In short, we do what we can to fight
the battle against wildlife smuggling,”
Larison said.
Since April of 2013, Larison has been
involved in a pilot program to add
canine officers to the service to help
detect plants and animals that might be
hidden in shipments.
Her partner, Butter, is a lab mix who
is trained to detect core scents in the
smuggling world including rhino,
python, seahorse, sea turtle, elephant
tusk, and all kinds of ivory.
“She’s even alerted us to a shipment
that had SpermWhale teeth inside,”
“She’s even
alerted us to a
shipment that
had Sperm
Whale teeth
inside. My
partner is just
- Denise Larison
Larison said. “My partner is just
Larison is one of only four canine
officers working for the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service Office of Law
Enforcement, she said.
In addition to sharing more items
that are seized in the future, Larison
said she’d like to someday share
her experience with students at IU
“I really hope to be able to do more
with the university because I feel very
connected to IU Southeast, I always
have,” Larison said. “I love what I do
and I had no idea it even existed before
meeting Ray Born in that IU Southeast
class. This has been just a big circle for
me and I’d like to help others find their
Denise Larison holds coral that was also donated to IU Southeast.
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