Wednesday, October 25, 2023

APOPO Hero Rat Centre

The APOPO Hero Rat Centre is a training and education centre near Angkor Wat, Founded in Belgium, the APOPO program uses giant rats from Africa to help locate land mines in Cambodia and around the world and has already helped clear over 33 million square metres of land of land mines and unexploded ordinance.

Some examples of the mines that APOPO's rats have located in the past.

Our tour guide explaining some of the history of the APOPO program.

Explaining the procedure used to clear an area of landmines.

A trip wire mine, and this one is not even hidden.

This mine is designed to target vehicles, and as you can see would be quite difficult to spot in the jungle.

One of APOPO's rats and its handler, ready to give us a demonstration of their abilities at detecting landmines.

The rats are tethered so that their team is able to map out cleared areas.

Mel holding one of APOPO's retired rats. The rats take about 9 months to train and work for 4 to 5 years before they are retired.

Lori and one of the retired APOPO rats that live at the centre.

My turn to hold the rat and he decided to run up my arm and perched on my shoulder for a bit before heading back to the staff member that was here with us.

There is a gift shop here as well, and the proceeds go towards funding the APOPO program. We picked up some shirts and stubby holders and I bought a money clip made from spent bullet casings, as we were working mostly with cash in Cambodia and the money clip I'd brought with me didn't hold enough bills.

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