Bomb-sniffing rats might save thousands of lives around the world from death and dismemberment every year. APOPO, a Belgian NGO that has been training giant African pouched rats to detect landmines, thinks it can make this dream a reality. In operation since 1997, their rats can successfully search 200 square meters in 20 minutes, versus the 25 operational hours it could take humans with mine detectors. There was a global average of 9 mine-related casualties per day in 2013.
No Rats have died in the line of duty. An ordinary mine requires something weighing 5kg (11lb) or more to detonate, and the heaviest operational male rats don’t exceed 1.5kg (3.3lb). Furthermore, sunscreen is applied to the rats’ ears to prevent skin-cancer. Once a rat is no longer keen to work, or is just too old, it’s retired and permitted to live out the remainder of its natural life.
In 2013 an average of 9 mine-related casualties per day
They (HeroRats) help clear these deadly land-mines in Africa
Not even a single rat has died in the line of duty. Once the rat detects a mine their escort (human) will defuse it.
Land-mine requires 5kg of weight to detonate/explode, these rats weigh no more thatn 1.5kg
They are more effective that human deminers
Because they can effectively search 200 square meters in 20 minutes
Humans take 25 operational hours to search 200 square meters
Sunscreen is used to keep them healthy and cancer free
If a rat does get skin cancer, they are operated on
6,000 euro (6,590 USD) are needed to train each rat
The rats get to retire after 4-5 years, or when they lose interest in working
Retirement is spent eating tasty fruit to their heart’s content
You can also adopt one of their HeroRats for 5 euro or 7 USD per month.