In Tanzania, a company called Apopo trains African giant pouched “hero" rats to detect leftover hidden landmines so the mines can be removed, helping to save many lives. The real minefields - that these rats will be deployed to once they are trained - are in Mozambique.
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- What kind of reward do the rats get for detecting the landmines?
A piece of banana, or some fruit puree.
- Around how many giant-pouched rats are trained at the Apopo center?
- Why are rats better suited for this task than dogs?
Keeping rats is much more cost effective than keeping dogs. Furthermore, these rats can also tolerate the tropical temperatures in that part of Africa, whereas dogs often struggle.
- In addition to detecting landmines, these rats are also being trained for other helpful tasks. What is one example mentioned in the video?
These rats are also being trained to detect tuberculosis in its early stages.
I think that…
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- Were you aware of how helpful rats could be before watching this video?
- What are some examples of other often maligned animals?
- What are some other ways animals are used to help with tasks that humans or machines can’t do by themselves?
Record your audio reply (you may add some text to it). Include a question for others.
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