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CaliforniaPeggy

(150,609 posts)
Fri Jan 13, 2012, 08:30 PM Jan 2012

An army of giant rats saves lives...by John Converse Townsend.

It takes a true visionary to see a Buddhist monk deploying a pack of giant rats as the solution to the devastating danger posed by landmines.

Every few hours, another person is killed or maimed by a landmine. Even in areas removed from active conflict, landmines are more than just distressing reminders of former bloodshed -- they're hidden hazards that terrorize populations and freeze development.

Identifying, unearthing and disarming these explosives is dangerous and daunting. Despite record clearances, more countries deployed anti-personnel mines last year than in any year since 2004.

But one social innovator has risen to the challenge -- with the help of a few hundred friends. The innovator is the industrial engineer, Buddhist monk and Ashoka Fellow Bart Weetjens.

His hundreds of friends are sub-Saharan Africa's giant pouched rats. About three feet long and armed with a powerful sense of smell, these rats might just be humanity's best hope for moving forward with confidence.


The rest at the link:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-converse-townsend/an-army-of-giant-rats-une_b_1129358.html
14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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An army of giant rats saves lives...by John Converse Townsend. (Original Post) CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 OP
That was fascinating. marmar Jan 2012 #1
Hey, I hear ya! CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #2
Oh, pleeze. I just had a pest control man RebelOne Jan 2012 #3
I'd want them on my side, though, if I HAD TO see them. nt Still Blue in PDX Jan 2012 #4
So.....you'd rather live with land mines? I doubt it. CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #6
Here's a picture of a giant pouched rat. Lionel Mandrake Jan 2012 #5
They're smaller than I expected. CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #7
big! Liberal_in_LA Jan 2012 #10
ROUS's? Interesting, thank you. uppityperson Jan 2012 #8
What's a ROUS? CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #9
Rodents of Unusual Size uppityperson Jan 2012 #11
No, I've never seen it... CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #12
An army of giant rats saves lives...by John Converse Townsend. laxpadre May 2013 #13
Welcome to DU my friend! hrmjustin May 2013 #14

RebelOne

(30,947 posts)
3. Oh, pleeze. I just had a pest control man
Fri Jan 13, 2012, 08:55 PM
Jan 2012

trap and kill 15 rats in my house. I would not want to see an army of them.

CaliforniaPeggy

(150,609 posts)
6. So.....you'd rather live with land mines? I doubt it.
Fri Jan 13, 2012, 10:27 PM
Jan 2012

And I am kidding.

Nonetheless, these are not ordinary house rats.

And they are obviously doing an important job.

CaliforniaPeggy

(150,609 posts)
7. They're smaller than I expected.
Fri Jan 13, 2012, 10:29 PM
Jan 2012

But their size works in their favor, since they don't trip the land mind.

Thanks for the picture!

 

laxpadre

(1 post)
13. An army of giant rats saves lives...by John Converse Townsend.
Wed May 1, 2013, 11:24 PM
May 2013

Wow very big rat. But I think that rat is different from the small ones who will always damaged foods, clothes and anything. Good thing this rat able to save lives. But still I am afraid of rats even they are cute and big because still they are rats...

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