HERO RATS

Giant African rats trained to detect TNT are cleaning Cambodia from its landmines.
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HERO RATS


APOPO alongside local partner the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) is conducting a humanitarian landmine clearance project in the northern Siem Reap province, targeting the most mine-affected villages in order to return safe productive land back to communities where it makes the biggest impact.

At least 26 million explosive sub-munitions were dropped on Cambodia during the Vietnam War, mostly in eastern and northeastern areas bordering the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Vietnam. The bombing is estimated to have left between 1.9 million and 5.8 million cluster munitions remnants. Over 64,000 landmine and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) casualties have been recorded in Cambodia since 1979. With over 25,000 amputees Cambodia has the highest ratio of mine amputees per capita in the world.
Following the picture below : A rat felt the TNT trapped in a mine. It stops, sniffs the ground and air (as if to drive the smell before putting it again). The muzzle toward the buried explosive, it is about to scratch the ground, signaling the presence of the mine underground. Siem Reap, Cambodia, March 7, 2016.
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Festival de la Fotografia Ethica 2017 in Lodi (Italia)


Thank you Italia @fotografiaetica and @larepubblica for beeing the first media to publish in your pages my reportage about Hero Rats of APOPO NGO (@herorats). It was my first own freelance project and after trying to share the story in French newspaper without success, it found echo in Italia thanks the highlight of The Festival Della Fotografia Etica. It’s a kind of kick that reminds you that when you think a project is bigger than your only interest, when you do your work with passion and determination, when you believe in things wherever you go, there is the most part of time an accomplissement. I hope this subject will spread over others countries because this is still a topic of current interest and Apopo needs your support to give safer places to civilians and allow kids going to school without the danger of walking on a mine.
Find more about APOPO missions on : www.apopo.org

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