This fine fellow is a Gambian pouch rat, and he might look like an ordinary rodent, but in fact he is a bally hero… There is an argument to say that he isn’t a rat at all, being part of the muroid family, a relative of the rat family – but whatever his provenance he is currently performing sterling work for mankind.
Due to their poor eyesight, the pouch rat has an immensely well-developed sense of smell and because of their renowned intelligence they are easily trained and are currently learning to sniff out land mines, and even human TB. Not for nothing are they currently known as heroRATS.
You can find out all about our heroRATS at herorat.org – here you’ll find out exactly how and why the rats were chosen for the tasks, and what indeed they’re currently up to (see this page for a bunch of cool videos). You can also adopt a rat if you so wish.
Apopo, a Belgian organisation set this project up initially – you can find out more by visiting the Apopo website.