These HeroRats can sniff out landmines in Africa and could save a lot of people
Posted On June 10, 2015
Throughout the whole world there’re a lot of places that have been involved in war and often have large minefield that still need to be cleared. And in 2013 it was estimated that there is a global average of nine mine-related deaths every day. So those remaining mines are still quiet a big problem.
The Hero-Rats are a new and more efficient method to detect mines
Usually, clearing those minefields involves men wearing massive body armour and walking in perfect straight lines with metal detectors. The problem with this method is that anything that sets the detector off must` be investigated, from rusty nails to bottle caps. But now, there’s a new and more efficient method of bomb detection, the so-called HeroRats!
The pouched rats have an incredibly fine-tuned sense
The Belgian NGO APOPO has developed a way to train African pouched rats to sniff (detect) the mines quickly and safely. But why rats? Well, these HeroRats have an incredibly fine-tuned sense of smell and a very long lifespan (8-9 years). They only need to undergo nine months of training and they’re all ready to go.
After a few years they’re allowed to retire
And for those who think this is animal abuse, not one has died in the line of duty since the program started in 1997. The average mine requires around 5 kg of pressure to trigger an explosion, but even the largest rat weighs around 1.5 kg. Eventuelly, after a few years of service the HeroRats are allowed to retire and will get all the tasty fruit their little hearts desire.
To learn about these heroic rats, be sure to check out the video below!