I have been trying to find a way for my cat, SweetPea, aka Killer, to earn her keep, but all I get is the claw exhibiting sharp pointy nails. It appears the people of Africa have found a solution to the unemployed rat population.
Sadly, many countries are experiencing deadly minefields left over from civil strife in war-stricken areas. People and especially children are killed daily by the explosives that were planted in the ground to create havoc and death. The African people have used their ingenuity and make use of the countries rats. Yes, rats that work for pay!
Clearing minefields generally involve the use of human beings covered in armor walking through the minefields searching for indications of harmful explosives that had been planted but yet had not detonated. This is a dangerous and tedious task. The search consists of men walking in a precise path with metal detectors. The detectors are sensitive to any metal, rusty nail, or ammo cartridge. Each indication of metal located by the detectors must be investigated before the process restarts. The approximate weight to detonate a buried explosive is about 11 pounds, whereas, rats weight a maximum of 3.5 pounds. Of course, the searchers would rather lose a rat versus a buddy or co-worker.
It takes approximately 25 working hours to search a minefield, whereas, it takes a rat 20-minutes to do the same job, and with a heightened sense of smell.
Rats have an advanced sense of smell and go through a rigorous training course that takes about 10 months to complete. The rats are specifically trained to sniff out explosives, and due to their superior sense of smell there are no other distractions in the field to interrupt their goals, and the rats are able to surpass human minesweepers in locating explosives. The average lifespan of these rats is just a little under 10-years. After graduation from this training course, the rats graduate receiving the title of “Hero Rats.” Relax . . . NOT ONE Hero Rat has died in the line of duty since the program began in 1997. Every 20-minutes, rats examine 200 square meters of land.
Worried about the poor little rats working so hard under the HOT sun in open fields of Africa? Worry no longer as these Hero Rats get all the sunscreen needed to keep them cancer free. If a rat should develop cancer, there is no medical treatment too good for their field team.
Pay for work, wow, what a concept. No, the little rats are required to maintain a bank account to keep their hard-earned pay. The Hero Rats are paid in avocados, peanuts, bananas and other healthy treats. What would they really do with money anyway?
The Hero Rats only need to work 4-5 years before they hit the retirement age, and then are sent to the Rat Retirement Community Center where they live the balance of their life eating the tasty fruits and snacks until they pass away from old age.