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Trained Rats Are Sniffing Out Landmines
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They're training rats in Cambodia to sniff out landmines. Will wonders never cease? ;-)


"It's 5:45 in the morning, and in a training field outside Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, Cambodia's demining rats are already hard at work. Their noses are close to the wet grass, darting from side to side, as they try to detect explosives buried just beneath the ground.

Each rat is responsible for clearing a 200-square-meter (239-square-yard) patch of land. Their Cambodian supervisor, Hulsok Heng, says they're good at it.

"They are very good," he says. "You see this 200 square meters? They clear in only 30 minutes or 35 minutes. If you compare that to a deminer, maybe two days or three days. The deminer will pick up all the fragmentation, the metal in the ground, but the rat picks up only the smell of TNT. Not fragmentation or metal or a nail or a piece of crap in the ground."

That's right: Someone using a metal-detecting machine will take a lot longer to detect a land mine than a rat using its nose."

In Cambodia, Rats Are Being Trained To Sniff Out Land Mines And Save Lives : Parallels : NPR
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Re: Trained Rats Are Sniffing Out Landmines [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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They have a museum for unexploded land mines in Laos which I visited a few years ago. Laos is the most heavily bombed nation in the world and during Vietnam, the U.S dropped 2 million tons of cluster bombs, with each cluster containing hundreds of "bombies". It was estimated that 30% of those millions of cluster bombs did not detonate. When I biked through the country, there were lots of places with yellow tape warning that this field has not been cleared and advising to stay away.


Between 2000 and 2008 lane, there were 834 deaths related to these zombies, most farmers and children. The U.S has paid a grand total of $85 million (as of 2015) since 1993 to clean up the bombs they dropped. Laos and Cambodia got so tired of the U.S refusal to take responsibility that they started looking for their own way to clean them up so they started training rats.


I watched a display of the rats and it was fascinating.

You're such a Trump ball washer! - Duffy - Feb 8, 17 13:18
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