Monday, November 16, 2015

Awww Monday ~ Woodsterman Style XXIII

Rats in Africa are saving tons of lives

in the most badass way possible.
 Everyone’s least favourite rodent has been tasked with cleaning up the lethal leftovers of war.
Land mines kill thousands every year, but these rats have been trained to save lives by sniffing out the scent of explosives.
The group responsible for training the rodents is APOPO – which stands for
Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling in Dutch, or Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development in English.

 Using positive reinforcement that is respectful to the animals, 
these African pouched rats are taught to identify explosives 
and then alert their handler.
 They’re perfect for the job – they’re highly intelligent and have a keen sense of smell.
They are small enough not to trigger mines, yet large enough to be easily identifiable in the field.  No rat has been killed in a minefield.

 They can clear two hundred square meters in just 20 minutes.
It would take humans with metal detectors five days to cover the same area.

 Since 2000, they have found over 9,000 buried land mines and bombs all across 
Tanzania and Mozambique.
They’ve also found thousands of small arms and ammunitions stashed in the ground.

The rats normally live for up to eight years, but are retired when they turn six.
They live out the rest of their days as heros, munching on avocados, apples and bananas, and being loved and cared for by their handlers.

And they're so cuddly too!

Thanks Dan


  1. I can't agree with the cuddly part but this looks like a great idea. Someone was doing some outside the box thinking and it paid off.

  2. I didn't know this. I guess it could be true, but with you one never knows.

    Have a wonderful Awww Monday Woodsterman Style. ☺

  3. Dick, Cuddly was a joke, but they are useful little buggers.

  4. Sandee, I love you thinking that way, but this is how it was passed on to me.

  5. I can see the bunny huggers going ballistic on this one.

  6. Smart rats! Much smarter than politicians for sure! That is a good thing they do. It is a shame they did not have such a critter during the Vietnam era.

  7. Annesphamily, The trouble with Vietnam was the White House was running things ... sound familiar?

  8. wow- what a smart way to deal with this problem. Thanks for the info!

  9. Kathe, you bet ... don't forget to pick up your rat.

  10. Dang those are big rats! But very cool rats! Thanks for this, Odie!

  11. Grunt, rats is rats, whether in the White House or searching for land mines.


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