Trust me, this is not an end of year joke. It’s for real! Zimbabwe will welcome rats, intelligent rats from Tanzania to help clear-Off the many land mines in the country. The civil war that took place between 1964 to 1979 other wise known as the Zimbabwe war of liberation saw thousands of mines laid. The war ended but the mines are still there blasting unwary victims especially at the Mozambique – Zimbabwean border.
As such, the charity organisation that train rats to detect bombs, according to a CCTV Africa report, “has now reached a deal with the Zimbabwean government to help locate thousands of mines laid during the country’s liberation war.”
According to the report, the rats have been very successful across the border in Mozambique to such extent it is expected Mozambique will soon be declared “mine free”. Christophe Cox, the CEO running the rat detective outlet commented that they have been working in Mozambique since 2008. “We are there since 2008,” he said. “We have cleared more than 13,000 landmines in total, and 8,000 on the Mozambique Zimbabwean border. So we hope now to continue once Mozambique is mine free, to continue on the Zimbabwean side of the border.”
Mark Shukuru, tasked as the rat Supervisor related that ““It’s not good to have that problem of landmines, because people are suffering now. But when we met with them and when they saw us working with the rats, doing the mining, they were very happy, they were giving us big support, so we can finish off these problems.”
Normally, more than 50 rats are walked along lines to fish out the mines. As explained; the rats are walked along lines until they think they’ve found a mine, and a clicking noise will indicate when the rats are right. it takes nine months to get the rats ready for work in the field. Unlike dogs, they are light and can step on mines without getting them to blast off. Take a look at the rats at work footage below.
Meanwhile the rats can as well identify tuberculosis. “They go through hundreds of samples a day, diagnosing far quicker than any machine could. Many people consider rats to be vermin. But in Morogoro they are not carrying disease – but finding it. And whether it’s in the lab or on the field, for these rats, saving lives is all in a day’s work,” the report stated.