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Sniffer crocs, drone dogs and bin chickens: Police, Lord Mayor turn April Fool's Day pranksters

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After 2020 didn’t offer much to laugh about, Australia is living up to its larrikin persona with a few creative April Fools’ Day attempts.

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The world’s first drug-sniffing crocodiles, drone-borne police sausage dogs, a robot teacher and a talking waxwork figure named Karen are among this year’s April Fools’ Day attempts.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner also got into the spirit, posting on social media that he had decided to make the city’s most annoying bird, the ibis – or bin chicken as it is also known – the city’s new civic emblem.

“Soon after becoming Lord Mayor, I added the koala as a new city emblem,” he said.

“The koala joined the tree frog as our faunal emblems. Today, I’m announcing that Brisbane’s newest emblem will be the iconic ibis!”

After 2020 didn’t offer much to laugh about, Darwin International Airport, South Australia Police, Melbourne’s Firbank Junior Grammar School and Madame Tussauds Sydney are getting into the spirit of April 1.

The Northern Territory airport on Thursday announced it was rolling out a new service to protect the nation – crocodiles trained to identify illicit substances, such as illegal drugs.

“There is a real value in using crocodiles for this purpose as they have a life span up to 70 years,” general manager Rob Porter said.

“So investing early in training certainly pays off.”

Porter continued the gag, saying crocodiles have huge “smell centres” and are “more intelligent than most people realise”.

South Australia Police also joined in on the fun, unveiling its latest police dog recruits – three dachshunds called Tex, Snoop and Gracie.

Sergeant Simon Rosenhahn of the dog operations unit said police hoped to take advantage of dachshunds’ small stature after working with 40kg German Shepherds.

“We’re also going to be able to attach them to drones. That’s really a game-changer for us,” he said.

“They can also be tactically deployed from that (and) dropped down into people’s yards.”

Coming clean with the prank, the force reassured the community that “no dachshund was actually attached to a drone; flown to any location; or placed in any harm during the making of this video”.

Elsewhere, Sandringham primary school spruiked its newest staff member Professor Tubby – an android which specialises in teaching the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) robotics curriculum.

In Sydney, Madame Tussauds said it would immortalise “Karens” the world over in wax form.

“Karen”, a descriptor for middle-aged white woman with an entitled, condescending and often racist attitude, was Macquarie Dictionary’s people’s choice for 2020 word of the year.

The Sydney wax museum said we all knew a “Karen” or two, and it was time they were honoured with their own figure.

“Karen will be complete with the signature asymmetrical bob and highlights, she’ll have acrylic nails and over-sized sunnies,” Madame Tussauds Sydney’s Mikayla McGlone said.

“But what will really bring Karen to life will be that she’s a talking figure and we’re calling on the public to help us select what she’ll say.”

-with AAP

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