Search and rescue has been a very respected duty. To rescue and help people in chaotic and needed times is a very heroic thing to do. That is why we have such huge respect for firefighters, the military, police, and other individuals who involve in these activities. Interestingly, these duties are not completely done by humans alone, technology and even other animals help us out.
People know that dogs are the main type of animal that helps to track and search in many search and rescue missions. But now, there is another tactical team who are being trained and introduced. A team of scientists and motivated people at APOPO are training rats in search and rescue missions! Even though they are disgusted by a lot of people, they have proven to be a very efficient workforce in this field of work. Scroll down to check out more about their training and application below.
A lot of people think of rats as a very dirty and a mischievous type of animal. But now you can see a whole new dimension of them. These set of rats at APOPO are training for hours a day to be enlisted in search and rescue missions.
Dr. Donna Kean is the head of this project at the ‘Hero Rats’ project. She has been able to bring the rats to a general speed in about 2 weeks. They are already being used in landmine detection as well as tuberculosis. The body composition and their ability to navigate through very narrow spaces. This makes them suitable candidates for being deployed in Earthquake search and rescue operations.
They are equipped with a backpack that contains a mic, camera as well as a tracker. This allows the operations center to monitor, track and communicate with survivors. This makes search and rescue look very promising and positive. This project has also explained to Science.org that they potentially are better than dogs at this job. Rats have a keen sense of smell likw dogs, they are very small so they can reach very far and they are not imprinted by one handler as dogs are. All these rats in this project are well looked after, fed, trained, and in their best condition. This might be a very good change in search and rescue to help more lives than ever.
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