Colombian gang puts a $70,000 bounty on Sombra the drug-sniffing dog

And the gang is offering a bounty of $70,000 for the canine's life, Colombia's national police said last week.

Drug-sniffing German shepherd Sombra is the stuff of nightmares for a ruthless Colombian drug cartel.

The Urabeños, considered the country's most powerful criminal organisation, offered the bounty after the German shepherd found nearly 10 tonnes of the cartel's cocaine.

The threats came after Sombra appeared on a report by Colombia's El Tiempo news outlet when she busted a record nine tons of the Urabenos' cocaine in recent years, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Gulf Clan leader Dairo Usuga alias Otoniel - one of Colombia's most wanted men - subsequently offered the reward to the killer of the dog, according to the report.

Colombian police have taken precautions to keep Sombra safe, like moving her away from her usual beat of Colombia's port cities, run by the Urabeños.

Sombra's detective work is needed now more than ever as Colombia wrestles with soaring coca production that is testing traditionally close relations with the United States.

In a tweet, head of the national police force General Jorge Nieto said Sombra's work led to the capture of at least 245 people.

Sombra is now being held at the Bogota airport for (obvious) safety reasons. She also found another delivery of coke hidden inside a machine. The Colombian press has even dubbed Sombra "the terror" of drug traffickers.

Sombra's victories have turned her into somewhat of a media darling, and as she struts around Bogota's airport with her handler, fans occasionally stop her for a selfie.

"Sombra in comparison to other dogs is much easier to work with, " he said.

  • Rogelio Becker