TRIGGER WARNING for people with phobias of mice and rats
I’ve always loved rats, even though I’ve never kept one as a pet. (I’ve had lots of guinea pigs, and a pair of gerbils). I also didn’t know about the African Giant Pouched (Gambian) rat, until I saw one in the Willard remake. And the filmmakers had to digitally sharpen its eyes to make it look scary. Yes, really.
Did you know that Gambian rats can detect landmines? They’re so small that their weight doesn’t trigger a mine if they step on one. An organization called APOPO trains them. They can also screen for tuberculosis by smell. Here’s a video interviewing a rat trainer in Mozambique:
This video is mostly captioned, though there’s music in it, too. But when the interviewee says: “this one? yea, because I…It’s one of the rats, which I have now here. Which I trained from a youngster,” he’s responding to the question: “Why is he your favorite rat?”
See a mine-sniffing rat at work! (No mines explode in the video).
(A Gambian rat on a leash attached to a zipline. It walks back and forth along the zipline, sniffing for landmines. No necessary auditory cues).
And finally, Rat Loves Cat!:
(A large white rat follows an orange tabby cat around–including climbing up a basket the cat is on top of–grooms him, etc. They snuggle together, and the cat grooms her, too. No significant auditory cues, though there is music throughout).
Listen to me go on! Over to you. Talk about whatever your heart desires!