Rats look for people – level 2
Trainers from Belgian company APOPO are training rats to search for people in disaster zones.
Rats are very curious and they like to explore, so people train them just like dogs. They are very small, so they can easily move through debris. Also, they have very good smell to find things.
The animals wear a small backpack with special technology. A video camera and a device helps rescuers communicate with survivors.
Currently people train the rats in a simulated disaster zone. When the rat finds the person in an empty room, it pulls a switch on their vest. This sends a signal to rescuers that someone is in the debris. Then, the rat returns to the rescuers, and they reward the animal.
Difficult words: disaster zone (an area where a disaster happens, for example, after an earthquake or flood), debris (broken pieces of buildings and other things), survivor (a person who lives after something very bad happens), simulated (something that looks real but it is not real).
You can watch the original video in the Level 3 section.
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