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Ratatouille is my favorite Pixar movie so I’m super excited to see more rats being awesome!

The innovative project is being worked on by research scientist Dr. Donna Kean, 33, from Glasgow, Scotland. So far, seven rats have been trained, taking only two weeks to get them up to speed.

These intelligent African giant pouched rats are helping humans save lives through search and rescue missions while wearing tiny prototype backpacks that contain microphones, video gear, and location trackers.

Dr. Kean’s team collaborates with the non-profit organization APOPO for their “Hero Rats” project. These “Hero Rats” are set to start working with a search and rescue team in Turkey, joining earthquake rescue efforts in the high-risk area.

The rats have a great sense of smell, and can move through small spaces to search for survivors buried in rubble. The basic behavioral sequence is: search for victim, pull ball to communicate when victim has been found, then return to trainer for reward.

Source: Newsweek