The Landmine Sniffing Rat Continuing The Legacy of A Fallen Hero In Cambodia
Howes, the landmine-sniffing rat, has a job sniffing out the deadly legacy of conflict in Cambodia.
She is named in honour of Christopher Howes, a deminer who was killed, along with his colleague Houen Hourth, by the Khmer Rouge in 1996 whilst they were working for MAG.
"He was passionate about the landmine cause," remembers Pat Phillips, Christopher's sister.
25 years later, Howes, the HeroRAT, joined a team of landmine-sniffing rats working in Cambodia with MAG.
Howes was trained by APOPO, a Belgian charity that made international news last year when its landmine-sniffing rat Magawa won a PDSA Gold Medal bravery award. Magawa retired earlier this month.
It was Magawa who inspired Mark and Cheryl Appleby, old school friends of Christopher's, to support the charity when they saw APOPO's work in action during a mission whilst in Cambodia to pay tribute to their friend.
During that visit, Cheryl and Mark also brought Chris's story to the charity's attention and persuaded APOPO to name Howes in his honour.