Just like police dogs, these rats are trained to detect harmful substances with their sensitive noses — and in countries like Cambodia, Angola and Zimbabwe, they’re saving thousands of people from landmines left behind from wars or other conflicts.
Apopo’s founder, Bart Weetjens, thought up the idea more than 20 years ago.
“Landmines are a global problem,” James Pursey, communications director for Apopo, told The Dodo. “Bart always had rats as a teen and was watching a documentary about landmines one day, and he wondered if rodents could be trained to safely sniff them out. And it turns out, they can — very well.”