Rats Save Humans From Landmines

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Rats Save Human?

Mandy the African pouch rat is off to discover if she’s good enough to join an elite team of landmine detecting rats.

Which countries have successfully used rats in detecting landmines?

Experts have discovered an ingenious team of animal heroes that are saving humans from the risk of landmines – rats. These furry creatures have been specially trained to detect the presence of landmines by sniffing them out, making it a safer process to clear dangerous minefields.

Landmines have been a significant issue for many countries, especially in areas of conflict. They pose a considerable risk to both civilians and soldiers, as they can explode at any time and cause severe injuries, including loss of limbs and even death. Landmine clearance is a difficult and dangerous task, requiring highly skilled experts to deal with the problem.

The use of rats in mine clearance was pioneered in Tanzania, where the rodents have been trained to detect the presence of landmines using their remarkable sense of smell. The rats are taught to associate the scent of TNT, which is present in landmines, with food rewards. This association makes it possible for the animals to quickly identify areas where landmines are located, so experts can safely remove them.

These specially trained rats have already proved invaluable in detecting landmines across various countries, including Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, and Zimbabwe. Their work has enabled hundreds of thousands of landmines to be safely cleared, making it possible for communities to return to their normal lives without fear.

The use of rats in landmine detection has several advantages over other methods. Firstly, they are cheaper to train and maintain than dogs, which are traditionally used in detection work. Secondly, they are smaller than dogs, so they can access hard-to-reach areas, making them more effective. Finally, as they are too light to trigger a landmine, they can work without putting themselves or experts at risk.

However, despite their impressive achievements, the use of rats in mine clearance is not without controversy. Some argue that the method is not fully reliable, and that rats may miss a small percentage of mines, which could still pose a risk. Others worry that large-scale use of rats could lead to them being exploited and treated badly.

Nonetheless, the success of rats in landmine detection cannot be understated. They represent a cost-effective and safe way to clear areas of landmines, enabling communities to return to their normal lives without the threat of injury or death. As such, rat detection should be embraced as an innovative and significant method of mine clearance, and one that has already saved countless lives.

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