Meet with the HeroRATs and handlers of global non-profit APOPO, who are helping detect and clear the remaining landmines that are scattered across the plains and foothills of Cambodia.
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Acclaimed NGO APOPO works with African giant pouched rats, also known as HeroRATs, to detect landmines and tuberculosis using their extraordinary sense of smell. While APOPO’s training and research centre is based in Tanzania, the NGO employs over 220 people across seven projects in six countries, of which Cambodia is a key site. This special behind the scenes experience at the APOPO Visitor Centre in Siem Reap offers guests the chance to meet the MDRs (Mine Detection Rats) and their handlers and experience first-hand how they clear a mock-up minefield. These HeroRATs are too light to detonate landmines and therefore face no risk. They enjoy spacious, cool lodgings at the centre with plenty of fresh fruit and attention from their keepers. They never work for longer than three to four hours per day and have sun cream carefully applied to their ears and tails while on duty.