Goal 15 - Life on Land

Giant Rats Are Being Trained to Combat Wildlife Trafficking in Africa

The U.S. is awarding for 12 “innovative approaches” to halting wildlife poaching and trafficking in 11 countries.

The U.S. government is funding a project to train giant rodents to help in the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking in Africa.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the African giant pouched rat is being tested to see whether it can help detect illegal shipments of hardwood timber, used to make furniture, doors and flooring and at the center of a multibillion-dollar black market industry, and pangolins — the world’s most poached mammal.

The agency is spending $100,000 on a yearlong pilot program that launched in Tanzania in October and is being steered by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, a wildlife conservation organization based in South Africa.

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