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African rat becomes landmine hero

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posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 08:12 AM
Just think, a "rat" mine detector, awesome, they are cheap, smart and aparrently easily trained. Who ever thought of this is the real hero.

VILANCULOS, Mozambique (Reuters) -- A giant African rat has become man's second best friend as it joins forces with the dog to sniff out landmines in Mozambique.

The Belgian de-mining research group APOPO has eight of the rodents working alongside dogs and metal detectors on a minefield in Mozambique's coastal town of Vilanculos, some 650 km (405 miles) northeast of the capital Maputo.

The Gambian giant pouched rats are helping to clear a stretch of fertile land that has lain fallow since a savage civil war ended in 1992.

Landmines are an insidious legacy of that conflict that maim and kill Mozambicans to this day, including rural children who were born long after the guns were silenced.

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