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How rats can save human lives

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Small But Mighty.

Landmines are scattered across dozens of countries threatening to kill or harm unsuspecting civilians. Bart Weetjens founded an organization training rats to protect humans by sniffing out these landmines.

About Bart Weetjens

Bart Weetjens is a Zen Buddhist monk and former industrial engineer who founded Apopo, an organization that trains animals to sniff out landmines and illnesses like tuberculosis.

Weetjens worked with Apopotraining rats until Mozambique officially announced itself free from landmines in 2015, when he transitioned into his new life as a social entrepreneur and Zen Buddhist monk. He is currently involved with the The Wellbeing Project, which aims to catalyze a culture of inner wellbeing for all changemakers.

He received his master's degree in product design from Antwerp University in 1990.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Susannah Broun and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.


Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Susannah Broun
Susannah Broun (she/her) is an intern at How I Built This and TED Radio Hour. On these teams, she researches and produces episodes on a wide variety of topics including creators making strides in digital spaces and revolutionary scientific advancements.
Sanaz Meshkinpour