Giant rats sniff out illegal pangolin trade

African giant pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus) have an excellent sense of smell and have previously been used to sniff out landmines and tuberculosis. Now, with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a group of giant rats will be trained to detect illegal shipments of the endangered pangolin – the most trafficked animal in the world. USFWS is spending $10,000 on a pilot program that will train the rats and and begin using them initially at ports in Tanzania. The funding is part of a larger $1.2 million grant package that will support anti-trafficking efforts across the globe.

Read more at The Guardian.

Header Image: ©David Brossard