Round and Round the Mulberry Bush… 

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

APOPO is an organization which trains African Giant Pouched Rats at detection, including detecting land mines in the field. You can learn all about them via the link and their HeroRATs site.

This is all very cool. Unfortunately, the organization’s name leaves me laughing at a terrible joke:

Q: What’s the sound of a rat accidentally triggering a landmine?
A: Uh-*POP*-oh!

Update: I’d be doing a disservice to APOPO if I didn’t mention this FAQ on their site:

Are rats likely to get killed in the detection process?

The rats are trained to detect and pinpoint the location of the landmine. Their lightweight makes it highly unlikely they would set of a mine by scratching or pointing. It is a misunderstanding that the rats are trained as Kamikaze to destroy the mines in the field. Trained animals are far too precious to be lost by setting of landmines. On the contrary, the rats used by APOPO are treated with great care and attention, in order to optimize their physical and mental condition.

You can also donate right here. If you laughed at this post, you’re as terrible a person as I am. Perhaps you should give them cash in an attempt to buy back your soul.


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