There Are Giant Rats Saving Lives

Across multiple countries across the world, there are rats saving lives. However, these probably aren’t the rats you may think of at first thought. No, these are trained Giant Rats nicknamed HeroRATS for their day jobs. Unlike your typical rats, these extremely intelligent rodents spend their time sniffing out more than just some leftover crumbs.


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Some of these HeroRATS get their work cut out for them by actually sniffing out land-mines left from past conflicts within the countries that they work in. With such a great sense of smell, these little guys have been trained to identify the smell of TNT beneath the surfaces that they check over. Since the rodents are so small, they run no risk of setting off the mines and are therefore able to safely search for and identify hidden explosives. The worker rats do their jobs from the safety of the harnesses of their trainers and are able to identify and show their human counterparts where any existing explosives are located beneath the surface. These rats are able to search over areas the size of a tennis court in just half an hour, which is a job that can take a human up to four days to complete. Through programs in multiple different countries, these HeroRATS have been able to destroy over 108,000 landmines and UXO and free over one million people from the threat of the explosives.


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But even in countries not affected by abandoned explosives, there are more HeroRATS making differences in human lives. A different group of rats has been trained to help people in a very different way. HeroRATs in countries like Tanzania are trained to sniff our tuberculosis in various human samples. These rats are able to identify tuberculosis in people at a rate of nearly 200 samples in 20 minutes, which is much faster and cheaper than it would be with a traditional doctor. The HeroRATS have been able to detect over 15,000 cases of tuberculosis, as well as successfully screen over 580,000 human samples. Through their work, the clinic detection rate for tuberculosis in has increased a total of 40 percent.


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2020 is the Chinese Zodiac year of the rat, so now, more than ever is the perfect time to support these life-saving animals. And the best thing about it all? APOPO makes it super easy for people to do just that! Supporters across the world are able to virtually adopt rats, send them gifts, and support the company through donations. So maybe give yourself some good juju for the new year and support this great organization by checking out APOPO.


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https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz64U1gl14v/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_camle=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Getting ready to start the week! Did you know a Tuberculosis detection herorat can check 100 sputum samples for TB in as little as 20 minutes?! #herorats #herofacts #ratsofinstagram

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Happy Year of the Rat!