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Post Need to Sniff Out Land Mines? Call a Rat
Created by John Eipper on 10/11/18 5:30 AM

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Need to Sniff Out Land Mines? Call a Rat (Tamara Zuniga-Brown, USA, 10/11/18 5:30 am)

I'd like to add some esoteric knowledge/assistance to Brian Blodgett’s post (October 9th) about the difficulties and dangers of land mine removal in Korea's Panmunjom and Arrow Head Hill areas. 

I had the honor of listening to and meeting Nicolas Kristoff, NYT Pulitzer Prize author on human rights, women’s rights, health, and global affairs. When asked how his family was impacted by his work and world travels, he responded by telling the audience a story about his most favorite and most thoughtful birthday gift, the adoption of a giant African pouch rat--the world’s best land mine sniffers.

Giant African Rats Detect Land Mines and TB for a Living (Scientific American):

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/running-ponies/giant-african-rats-detect-land-mines-and-tb-for-a-living/

Meet the Giant Rats that are Sniffing Out Land Mines (National Geographic):

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151006-giant-rats-landmines-cambodia-science-animals/

JE comments:  Anyone can "smell a rat," but the larger point is what the rats smell back.  Who thought that rats and land mines could lead to a feel-good story?  Well, click on the two articles above.  Besides their keen sense of smell, the Giant Pouchers have another advantage:  they're too light to set off the mines.  And they're really cute.


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