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Fri Jan 13, 2012, 07:30 PM

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, 2580 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply An army of giant rats saves lives...by John Converse Townsend. (Original post)
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 OP
marmar Jan 2012 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #2
RebelOne Jan 2012 #3
Still Blue in PDX Jan 2012 #4
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #6
Lionel Mandrake Jan 2012 #5
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #7
Liberal_in_LA Jan 2012 #10
uppityperson Jan 2012 #8
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #9
uppityperson Jan 2012 #11
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2012 #12
laxpadre May 2013 #13
hrmjustin May 2013 #14

Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 07:33 PM

1. That was fascinating.


Not that I'd want to see one up close.....


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Response to marmar (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 07:35 PM

2. Hey, I hear ya!

But if I lived where there were land mines, I wouldn't mind!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 07:55 PM

3. Oh, pleeze. I just had a pest control man

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

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 08:09 PM

4. I'd want them on my side, though, if I HAD TO see them. nt

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 09:27 PM

6. So.....you'd rather live with land mines? I doubt it.

And I am kidding.

Nonetheless, these are not ordinary house rats.

And they are obviously doing an important job.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 08:17 PM

5. Here's a picture of a giant pouched rat.



You won't find these in your local pet store.

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Response to Lionel Mandrake (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 09:29 PM

7. They're smaller than I expected.

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

Thanks for the picture!

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Response to Lionel Mandrake (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 09:37 PM

10. big!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 09:31 PM

8. ROUS's? Interesting, thank you.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 09:34 PM

9. What's a ROUS?

Ya got me there!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 09:54 PM

11. Rodents of Unusual Size

Have you ever seen the movie Princess Bride? If not, you should.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=R.O.U.S.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 10:35 PM

12. No, I've never seen it...

Thanks for the tip, and the link!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:24 PM

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

 

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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Response to laxpadre (Reply #13)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:25 PM

14. Welcome to DU my friend!

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