Photo: Indie By Heart
Remember “The Rescuers”, a 1977 Disney movie about two mice from The Rescue Society, an international mouse organization dedicated to helping abduction victims from around the world?
Well an alert reader spotted this in today’s Daily News: “Use of rats in rescue operations on cards.” I’ll just excerpt my favorite parts. (If you want to read the whole article, you can find it here.)
The prospects of having rats help in rescue operations with the aid of a camera during times of disasters is slowly becoming a reality as researchers make headway in determining the most effective training procedures.
The Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikeling (APOPO) behavioral research leading the “Camera Rat” project, Ms. Amy Durgin, exclusively told the Daily News that they had not finished the design of the camera because they were only testing training methods…
Ms. Durgin said that the project initially started with 10 rats, but they were currently training only five because three failed early training states and two died of natural causes.
She said that the ‘loss’ of the five rats hadn’t been taken as a setback to the project because … the rats are known to be naturally very scared of novel stimuli and that they expected to lose a few rats … The researcher said that they had moved the rats that had failed the training to a different project where they may be more successful …”
I just hope that the failed rats didn’t get moved to a boa constrictor project … cause the definition of success for rats in that one is not happy.