Name: Baraka (BAH-RAH-KAH)
Species: African giant pouched rat
Scientific Name: Cricetomys ansorgei
Date of Birth: 4 August 2022
Birthplace: Morogoro, Tanzania
Parents: Nysa (f) + Finest (m)
Siblings: 2 sisters, 1 brother
Education: Landmine detection
Personality: Playful and curious
1. Rodents are the biggest order of mammals, with more than 2,000 species. Among these, APOPO selected the African giant pouched rat or Cricetomys ansorgei for scent detection.
2. They get their name from their large size, which is roughly equal to a small cat, and cheek pouches (similar to hamsters) that they use to store and carry food.
3. The training team is based at APOPO’s Training and Research Center in Tanzania, hosted by the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro 🇹🇿.
4. APOPO’s HeroRATs ignore scrap metal and only go for the scent of explosives, making landmine detection rats much faster at finding landmines than humans with metal detectors.
5. Thanks to the dedication and tireless hard work of our mine action teams, and the generous support of APOPO’s partners and donors, over 1.8 million people feel the impact of our work.
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