Africa: Rat’s sniffing power is bringing them praise across the world

‘Rats’, a type of rodent with medium-sized, long tail. Species of rats are found throughout the order Rodentia, but stereotypical rats are found in the genus Rattus. But one thing to consider as the truth for the people who think that rats couldn’t do anything and are useless. The most eye opening fact is that rats are doing a commendable job in Africa by tracing the hidden mines by using their smelling power.

In-country like Africa, people gave the names to rats as they name humans, and these aren’t just any old pizza addicted subway rats, though.


According to Apopo, a certified trainer of rats in Africa, rats typically weigh between 2 and 3 pounds, and they are highly intelligent with a sharp sense of smell. They tend to be slightly more sociable than a human can think.

According to the researchers, the maximum age of domestic rats is 2-3 years; however, the sharp and intelligent rats might live six years full.

They’re also quick little workers, capable of clearing 2,000 square feet in 20 minutes, which could take a human as much as four days.

The training process of rats began when they could not open their eyes properly, around five weeks old when they were, and the training process continued until nine months.

In a total of nine months of training, the first round of training, which lasted about two weeks, gave them training rats that how they can maintain their focus and calm, not risk of trying to hurry away in the field.


Once they’ve been socialised, they are ready for the next step, which is called “click training.” In this training, they work on their hearing power in which they also give them a mashed avocado and peanuts as a reward. That process goes until rats learn about the tasty treat.

At one point, trainees begin tucking TNT perfumed paper into metal tea eggs shown on a foil-covered table, which the rats must move forward before they hear the sound of a click that means it’s time for a food reward.

Moreover, they covered the eggs into the soil and taught the rats how to scratch the soil when they smelled the eggs with TNT.

However, this process is tricky, and some rats catch it quickly; others require more encouragement. Some rats also use their smart techniques in the field.

Some rats have good energy and excitement that they check every field square.

Rats weekend is always reserved for their feasting: The rats get to pig out on avocado, tomatoes, dried fish, peanuts, a chunk of watermelon, mango and corn.

Rats always get the weekend off so that they can just stuff the food into their cheeks.

After completing the graduation in their training, the actual training starts in which they have to find the mines without skipping one, and they are sent to their assigned field location.

One of the rats was named Apopo, and he started finding mine when he was 7-months-old. He cleared around 800,000 square metres of mines within another seven months and found 305 items.

When rats find something suspicious, they will scratch the ground as they are taught the training.

They lost one of the sharp rats in the Cambodian rat mines a few days later. He was not any casual rat, but a Medal-winning Magwa sniffed out more than 100 mines in his five years of career.

Magwa health was good, and he spent his last days playing but toward the end of his work, he started responding slow, napping more and showing less interest in food in his last days.