Rat Patrol

Cambodia trains ‘elite squad of rats’ to detect landmines

Cambodia is training an elite squad of rats, imported from Africa, to sniff out landmines and other unexploded ordnance in the once war-wracked kingdom, authorities said on Friday.

A team of 15 rats, some weighing up to 2.6lb, were imported from Tanzania in April with the help of a Belgian non-governmental organisation, which trains rats to sniff out mines, Heng Ratana, director general of Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), told AFP.

  • Alain

    I have seen a documentary about how they train and use these rats for detecting and locating land mines, and they were extremely effective. These are not the common barn rats and are much bigger. In Senegal they were called Gambia rats and they were as big as domestic cats. They lived in the wild unlike the vermin we know as rats.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Isn’t that like pigs that sniff out truffles?

  • Apparently, the Khmer Rouge planted a landmine for every person in Cambodia.

    Forty years later and people are still paying for it.

    Rats are actually very intelligent.

  • Oil and beef

    The ‘bomblets’ which are lemon-sized are estimated to be between 7 and 8 million hen were released from bomb-like containers out of U.S.planes and disbursed at altitude. An American legacy. They migrate with the mud and rain and children pick them up. Carts and animals step on them. Phenom Penh has almost all the amputees and blind victims because there’s no sense begging in small villages. TRAVEL TIP: If you want to avoid most of the beggars in PP during dinner, take a seat upstairs.

  • Yusuf_Al_Kafir

    They’re ‘Ghambian Pouched Rats’ and quite obviously one of the largest species of rats.