Rats trained to detect land mines

Telegraph:

Staff at Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary near Liskeard, Cornwall, have been teaching Gambian poached rat Kofi to alert handlers when he detects a mine.

Kofi is too small to set off the booby-traps but his acute sense of smell can pick up the scent of the bomb casing.

Rats have been trained in Africa to hunt for land mines but Kofi is the first to undergo the program in Britain.

Handler Wendy Winstanley now plans to contact the Army and the police anti-terror unit to offer her rats' services for use both home and abroad.

She said: "Kofi is amazing, his sniff ability is really incredible. People think of rats as vermin but they are highly intelligent creatures.

"They have a more heightened sense of smell than dogs and because they are so much lighter they have less chance of setting off an explosive.

...

They need to send Kofi to Afghanistan and let him find IEDs. He could probably also sniff out the bomb builders too. I am surprised she did not name him Ben and get Michael Jackson to sing for him.

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