Search and Rescue Project

As you may know, APOPO’s research team have been busy with finding new applications for our HeroRATs and some time ago, we started training our rats to find people in debris sites, so that they may assist in real-life rescues of people in building collapses – RescueRATs as a concept was born! As with all scientific ventures, testing hypotheses and then developing an idea can take many years, but we are proud to say that with your help – we have already accomplished a lot. So far, we have successfully built an entire replica debris site near our headquarters in Tanzania, and we are at the stage of training the rats to successfully find victims are return to rescuers outside of the Derris site with great success.

We are appealing for your support to take us to the next stage of development: sending our HeroRATs and the teams to complete search trials in mock debris sites in Turkey in collaboration with the Search and Rescue organization, GEA. These trials will be used to test the rats’ ability to locate and indicate a mock victim and return to the basepoint upon cue in this location. The local GEA staff will also be oriented to our rats as well as our training and health and welfare practices.

GEA is an all-volunteer search and rescue, ecology, and humanitarian aid group established in 1994 in Turkey, which is well known for some of the world’s most devastating earthquakes, due to its position on a complex fault system. APOPO intends to send six rats and three trainers, who will be stationed in Turkey at one of GEA’s training locations. Trainers will conduct routine search training at debris sites and maintain the proper health and welfare of the rats.

The rats will then be deployed in search efforts alongside GEA in response to an earthquake to move onto the most critical part of this program – seeing them save lives in real time.

We hope you can consider supporting this impressive venture and we aim to get the team to Turkey in the second half of 2024, so we will keep you updated on the trip when it does go ahead!




Search and Rescue Rats APOPO
We hope you are willing to help APOPO’s innovative RescueRATs program. Any amount you can donate will help with program development and eventually deployment, which will save lives. Thank you. ❤️