“The Royal” probably not to start on 5 October / Letter from Tanzania

50 points off Gryffindor for hogging the 7 pm – 10 pm time slot on ITV I, Sunday, 5 October! As ITV 1 will show “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, the second half of The Royal’s 7th season might start a week later than rumoured, on Sunday, 12 October.

“Of course I lied to them! Do you think they’d offered me this job if I’d told them that my real name is Nicholas Weasley?!”

We’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, we’ve received news from Tanzania about Allan, the Herorat we’ve adopted.

Allan is doing very well! He’s a REST (Remote explosives scent tracing) herorat, and at the moment involved with a number of different experiments. The first is a concentrations experiment to see at what level the rats can detect TNT. The second is a soil experiment, to understand better how a range of soils (10 different types) impact their ability to smell the TNT, and what precautions have to be taken in each of these soil types. The third is an automation experiment to see how automating the training process could help the training methods to become even more efficient.

The GICHD (Geneva International Conference On Humanitarian Demining) is partnering with APOPO (the organisation behind the Herorats project) as they see the value and the impact it will have on humanitarian
demining efforts in Africa.

How Allan got his name

Linda, one of the rat-trainers in Tanzania, told us how Allan got his name:

“(…) I am a Rodent Trainer in Apopo… I love Rats because they help us in demining.

That day when one of my fellow colleges came to me for a help of naming his Rat it was 3 months since I gave birth to my Son Allan, so I decide to name one of his rat my son name, because it was Male and Female rat, the other Rat I name Samira. Name of one of my friends daughter.

From that day I start to follow those that Allan Rat his development in every stage of his training. He is a good and intelligent rat, I love that rat one because he got my son Name and second its just happen I love rat and not only that one but all the rat.

Sometimes when I walk on the street and found a rat died on the road I feel pain its come natural and think if that rat where at Apopo I could train and shall help us and other people who suffer from the landmines. (…)”


Well, if you’d like to support Herorats as well, or maybe even adopt one of the four-pawed heroes, please go here.


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