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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Hero Rats. Yes... Rats: (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

panlives
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"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Woland
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Thanks, panlives. These little guys really do sound like heroes!

Quote:
As an integral part of APOPO’s Mine Action Program, our MDRs go through a rigorous training process, where they learn to discriminate the scent of TNT and indicate its presence by scratching. (Being light-weight, there is no risk of the rats detonating the mines.) Initially, the rats search for a small containers with a small amount of TNT in them. From there they move on to detect surface-laid mines followed by buried mines covering increasingly larger areas until they are ready for an internal “blind” accreditation test. Upon successful completion of this test, the rats are deployed to APOPO’s in-country Mine Action Program. Prior to becoming operational, the rats have a period of acclimatization and are calibrated to the expected local mine type. They must pass a final external accreditation test under International Mine Action Standards (IMAS), supervised by the National Mine Action authority, before they become official Mine Detection Rats.


Sounds like they'd make great pets:

Quote:
•Rats have an exceptional sense of smell, and can be trained to detect explosives. Unlike metal detectors, they can detect both metal and plastic-cased landmines.
•Rats provide a low-tech solution to the landmine problem, especially in low-resource environments.
•Rats are light-weight (approximately 1.5 kg or less) and they will not set off mines when they stand on them (it typically takes 5 kg to set off a pressure-activated landmine).
•Rats are very sociable and easy to train, and they don't mind performing repetitive tasks (in exchange for a sweet reward!)
•Rats are small and very cheap to feed, maintain, and transport.
•Rats are motivated by food, and are less emotionally tied to their handlers than dogs - it is therefore easier to transfer them between handlers.
• Rats require little veterinary care, are resilient to many tropical diseases and are highly adaptable creatures.
• African giant pouched rats have a long life span (6-8 years) which means a solid return on the initial training investment.


The pictures at the site are great.
critter
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Rats do make great pets. But they are prone to developing pneumonia.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2011-10-14 16:26, critter wrote:
Rats do make great pets. But they are prone to developing pneumonia.


And Gang members plus the Mafia hate rats... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Woland
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They've also trained these rats to detect the tubercle bacillus in sputum specimens . . . excellent for countries where there are no lab facilities . . . they could even be trained to detect the plague bacillus (see other thread) . . . .
Chessmann
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On 2011-10-17 12:21, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
And Gang members plus the Mafia hate rats... Smile


And James Cagney never talked about a dirty one.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
critter
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That's because rats are incredibly clean animals. Now those dirty possums on the other hand...
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2011-10-18 12:37, critter wrote:
That's because rats are incredibly clean animals. Now those dirty possums on the other hand...


Beavers are sometimes hairy, dirty and smelly from my experience. Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Chessmann
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You're dating the wrong women, Pakar.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2011-10-20 15:35, Chessmann wrote:
You're dating the wrong women, Pakar.


Or petting the wrong beavers. Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Chessmann
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!!!
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
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