In Mozambique, Rats Make Good Mine Detectors

Finding humans to clear minefields is hard. So in Mozambique, they've trained rats to sniff out unexploded ordinance, single out its location by pawing at the ground (careful!), and de-mine the field.

Even though the rats being used are the Giant Gambian variety, they're still too light to set off most mines that they find. Trainers devised a harness that guides the rats systematically over a 100-meter square area, and a team of two can clear two such 100 square meter fields in a day. When they find the mines, they're rewarded with bananas.

The project has been going on for several years in multiple mine-strewn African zones, with some pretty significant success. You can donate by adopting a mini-sniffing rat online at, appropriately, HeroRat.org. [Hero Rats via Afrigadget]