Pavlov’s Rats

rat
Pavlov’s Rats

What will they come up with next?

A solution to a serious global problem might have been found by a Belgian product designer by the name of Bart Weetjens. It seems that there are currently over 60 million hidden land mines strewn throughout the world wreaking havoc upon innocent victims who accidentally detonate them (many of whom are children). Using the Pavlov technique, the Belgian has been able to train a species of rodent known as the African giant pouched rat to sniff out mines – without detonating them.

In the past, dogs have been trained for the process, but success has been limited. However, the rats sniff around and are rewarded, if they locate a mine and scratch the ground. The little creatures are also light enough so as not to cause the mines to explode, allowing for their safe removal.

Who said some critters are simply nuisances that should be exterminated? Maybe there is a positive side to all living things.
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Comments

  1. I guess even a rat can be redeemed!

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  2. Galen: Definitely, and I think we all know some who need redemption.

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  3. Can you find me one for snakes, roaches and spiders too? :)~Ames

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  4. If it is so, long live the rodents!

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  5. Ames: They can keep roaches, but snakes and spiders are special. Beauty is in the eye....

    FanaticoUm: Amen.

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  6. Hi JJ .. I hope this is seriously used - if so amazing research.

    I see having looked across at Wikipedia - that the Belgians are in Tanzania .. and the rats can detect TB too ..

    Thanks - very interesting .. Cheers Hilary

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  7. Hilary: I agree. If they can save the lives of innocent children, it would be a marvelous accomplishment. Cheers.

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  8. We are all part of a whole-- even our little rodent allies.

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  9. Suze: I agree. Sometimes, when I utter the overused phrase "one with the Earth," people roll their eyes. However, I am serious.

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  10. following on GFC now. thanks for dropping by and keep in touch!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka
    Weekly: Wordless Wednesday Linky Party

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  11. JJ, I found your comment on my post to be warm and well-meaning, but amusing at the same time. The job of shopping for Christmas gifts has, for many years, been relegated to wives and mothers. I dumped that job about 12 years ago for reasons that shall remain unknown to all but my closest friends. The girls were not happy with that decision, and I told them, "Go talk to your father."

    So now, back to the African giant pouched rats. Rod has been training packrats to seek out Christmas gifts that stay within his self-imposed budget. He sends them out on reconnaissance missions in order to save on gas, then when they return, he compiles their lists and plans his route.

    Oh, and he is also responsible for decorating the tree and doing the outside lights. My contribution? I cook Christmas dinner, but HE cleans up! Works for me!!

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  12. Exactly, we are all here to share this earth together, and we all have very important reasons for being here.........we all count, we all matter....just think if all the bees were gone? No honey, no flowers....oh my, this is beginning to remind me of a movie! Nice post...and I promise not to kill the next spider that crosses my path...(actually I don't because they are here to eat the really bad bugs, right!!!) I really liked this post of yours can't you tell?!!!!

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  13. I am so glad to hear this! You see, I have an irrational problem with rodents...seriously. I am glad to hear that in this way they are blessing humanity, somehow knowing this makes me feel a little better about them existing :)

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  14. Wow, that's amazing that rats are being used to uncover those hidden mines. It's so upsetting to hear about someone stepping on one, especially children. Rats are intelligent creatures. I'm interview a talking pirate rat on my Wed. post this week! LOL!

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  15. KB: Yes, that's why they have been around so long.

    Judie: Merry Christmas to you, Rod, and all the other worker rats. I will sit back and soak up all the joy.

    Karen: Absolutely. Sometimes, friends and family think I'm a little out there, but I truly believe all those little things are here for a reason - at least I am at peace with them.

    Miriam: I can't believe you would find any living thing problematic. You are too kind. I am happy to have helped.

    Lynn: Talking pirate rat? I can't wait!

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  16. For several weeks now, I have been hearing a mysterious creature inside the wall of the office. I would call Rod in and the scratching would stop. He told me he would put a trap in the attic, but kept dragging his feet. A few nights ago, the sound was so loud I thought the creature would break into the office through the drywall. I dragged Rod out of bed to hear it. The next day, he baited the trap with strawberries. At four in the morning, we heard the trap rattling around in the attic! It was a packrat!!! Of course, Rod persuaded the guy to join his Christmas shopping team. All's well that ends well.

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  17. Judie: Are you sure you didn't catch an elf?

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