Team News Feed


Our Adopted Rats

Name: Ikemba

Job: Mine Detection Rat

Meet Our Past Rats: Nala and our beloved Cheeky who is now watching us from above.

Recycling Funds

2012: $105.63

2013: $118.63

2014: $56.45

Featured Team Members

Cheekys Biography

Cheeky hd a huge appetite for work as a HeroRAT, and brought a cheerful and affable attitude to his sniffing sessions at the TB Detection Center in Tanzania. He loved sweet treats, but his real motivation came from helping to reduce the spread of TB!

  • Liked: Bananas, avocado, pellets, peanuts, carrots, tomatoes, and the movie Ratatouille
  • Disliked: Tuberculosis; when his siblings hoard all the snacks in their cheek pouches!

Cheeky was born on Aug 31, 2011. We were notified of his passing on June 19, 2012. The cause was believed to be a stomach bug, a problem that is occasionally faced by all rats.

View his adoption certificate.


About Adopt a Rat (and a little history...)

I met Bart Weetjens at a conference in Washington State in 2011 and was fascinated with the work he does for the Hero Rats program. I told him I'd find a way to adopt some rats and build them in to some sort of volunteer program and here we are! Cheeky is our first rat to be adopted. Some interesting stats:

  • These rats can detect tuberculosis! TB is a highly contagious disease that if left untreated, can kill over a million people each year. The rapid spread of TB is a result of low detection rates, and the lack of a reliable method for testing large volumes of patient samples
    • They are incredibly accurate: their amazing olfactory (smelling) abilities can sniff out even the smallest trace of the disease in human sputum samples.
    • They are incredibly FAST! A single rat can evaluate 40 sputum samples in just seven minutes, equal to what a skilled lab technician would take an entire days work to do.
  • These rats can detect landmines! Two handlers using these rats can cover 200 square meters of suspected minefield in less than 1.5 hours. This would take a human an entire day using metal detectors.

Learn more or adopt a rat today!