Magawa The rat directly responsible for saving the Cambodian people. The “hero rat” whose work sniffing out landmines in Cambodia. Magawa also won a medal for life-saving bravery. Magawa spent five years (2016-2021) sniffing out hazardous, unexploded weapons of war dotting the Cambodian countryside. Cambodia is one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world. And Magawa one of the most successful bomb-sniffing rats of all time. This Hero rat retiring after five years of service.

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The Rat, Saving Cambodian live

In Cambodia, the mainstay of the economy is agriculture. But wars and conflicts have left 5 million landmines across the beautiful country. Over 40,000 people have been made mine amputees. Cambodia’s people work and live with the threat of injury and death every single day. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes but all of them have big hearts and brave spirits. Magawa is a landmine detection rat. He trained to alert his handler, whenever he finds explosives. So far, he cleared 141,000 square meters of land of unexploded landmines. As well as saving countless Cambodian lives. So far, Magawa has impacted more than a million people and freed them of the terror of landmines.

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Magawa’s Journey

Magawa, a giant African pouched rat. The Hero rat started his journey in Tanzania ( East Africa). He was born there as part of a breeding colony. He trained by the Belgium-registered charity called APOPO. Rat are normally weaned at the age of 10 weeks after that Magawa was socialized and thereafter he started clicker training. The rats are too light to trigger a mine so they just gently scratch over the mine. Magawa can find mines very quickly. He can search for a field the size of a tennis court in just twenty minutes. And he also famous for used his powerful sense of smell to detect TNT (the chemical compound used in explosives). Magawa just indicated the location and presence of TNT. Once he finds an explosive, he scratches the top to alert their human co-workers. If an explosive is found the spot will be marked and the threat will be removed and destroyed by expert de-miners. Magawa is also the rat responsible for discovering an anti-tank mine. In his five-year career, the rat sniffed out 71 landmines and many more unexploded items from Cambodia. Every landmine Magawa finds could save a life.

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The Honour

Magawa, awarded the prestigious PDSA Gold Medal for his work and bravery. According to PDSA (People’s Dispensary For Sick Animals), this is the very first time in our 77-year history of honoring animals that we will have presented a gold medal to a rat.

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Magawa’s handler ‘Malen’ says – Magawa’s performance has been unbeaten, and I have been proud to work side-by-side with him.

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