Vital Vermin

December 18, 2015

Vital Vermin

In September 2015, Mozambique became the first heavily land-mined country to claim ‘mine free’ status. Over one hundred thousand landmines – many placed near schools, bridges and villages – were detected and safely removed. That’s a great story in itself, however the process used to accelerate mine detection over the past few years is quite remarkable as well. Eschewing high tech mine-detection equipment that they could neither afford nor acquire, the Mozambicans went old-school and trained rats to sniff out landmines. It seems that although rats have extremely poor vision, they’re endowed with two separate scent organs making them extremely sensitive to odours. Of course, now they may have a rat problem!

About Alana Graff

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