He is Belgian.
He is a practicing Zen/Buddhist monk.
He used to use his pets to steal food from shops when he was young.
He, now, trains rats to detect land mines.
Meet Bart Weetjens who, along with his brother Frank Weetjens and others have founded an organization called APOPO based in Mozambique. APOPO use an amazingly innovative and cost-effective method of finding landmines in a poverty-ridden country; the economic well-being of which has been hampered by the millions of unexploded land mines scatted through out its territory.
APOPO also uses the rats for early and quick diagnosis of TB (tuberculosis).
Bart’s story has given me the story and the background I needed for a character. And it all fits well within the main plot!