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Rat could be latest weapon against landmine’s


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Highly trained sniffer-rats could become the latest weapon against landmine’s after one was taught to smell out explosive devices.

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.

“Obviously we don’t have land mines in this country but I’m so happy with his development that I would be happy to send him to the Gambia if he was required.

www.telegraph.co.uk

www.alphainventions.com

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March 30, 2009 - Posted by | Animals, Entertainement, Funny, nature

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