Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rats & Cats.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

Columbian troops trained and ready for de-mining operations

NO! NOT actually. The correct headline reads:

Rats train with cats to sniff out mines

“For the past year, a special Columbian police unit has been locking rats in cages with cats as part of a project to train the rodents to sniff out the more than 100,000 land mines planted mostly by leftist rebels across this conflict-racked Andean country.

Bring the rats face to face with an enemy allows them to stay more focused once they are released, veterinarian Luisa Mendez said Tuesday.

The rodents are taught to freeze in front of mines, but had difficulty staying put for fear of being attacked by predators.”

“’The cats wear shields on their nails . . . and as a result the rats feel comfortable playing around them,’ Mendez said.”

This is another example of the extremes being taken in worldwide de-mining operations.

Giant Gambian rats have also been trained to detect land mines. Are successful and work for peanuts!! Literally so!

These trained critters the Columbians are using appear to be your average-everyday-Columbian-rat variety. NOT the Giant Gambian import. I guess the Columbians are afraid that if some Giant Gambians escape in Columbia, you will have an introduced invasive species to deal with along with the land mines?

“taught to freeze in front of mines”! And will also freeze in the presence of potential predators. Snakes, raptors, etc. Lots of animals that feed on rats run wild in Columbia. You will have a lot of false readings if the little rats are not accustomed and comfortable around those that might eat them!!

Makes sense!!



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