Rats to the Rescue!


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.

Learn the key phrases!

a detonator
to be deployed
to seek out / to detect landmines
to sniff out explosives
to resume one’s normal way of life
a rodent
a sniffer dog
to tackle the problem
to tolerate the climate
a deadly threat
to sniff out the virus in its early stages

translate Translate and remember the key phrases.

Let’s check the main ideas!

  1. What kind of reward do the rats get for detecting the landmines?

A piece of banana, or some fruit puree.

  1. Around how many giant-pouched rats are trained at the Apopo center?

Three hundred

  1. 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.

  1. 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…

Share your thoughts!

  1. Were you aware of how helpful rats could be before watching this video?
  2. What are some examples of other often maligned animals?
  3. What are some other ways animals are used to help with tasks that humans or machines can’t do by themselves?

audio-recording-icon-1 Record your audio reply (you may add some text to it). Include a question for others.
idea Advise a topic for discussion.





this animals could be so smart…

There are two possible corrections:
“…these animals could be so smart”
“…this animal could be so smart”