Magawa the landmine detection rat given gold medal for bravery

A landmine detection rat has been awarded a gold medal for his “lifesaving bravery and devotion to accountability”.

Magawa, a large African pouched rat, has came upon 39 landmines and 28 pieces of unexploded ordnance in Cambodia since he used to be skilled by means of charity APOPO. He’s the charity’s maximum a success Hero Rat, having cleared greater than 141,000 sq. metres of land – the similar of 20 soccer pitches.

Magawa has been officially recognised for his paintings and been offered with a miniature PDSA Gold Medal, the animal similar of the George Go. He’s the primary rat within the charity’s 77-year historical past to obtain such an award.

Magawa, wearing his PDSA Gold Medal
Magawa, dressed in his PDSA Gold Medal Photograph: PDSA/PA

Christophe Cox, leader govt of APOPO, mentioned: “To obtain this medal is actually an honour for us. I’ve been running with APOPO for over 20 years.

“Particularly for our animal running shoes who’re waking up on a daily basis, very early, to coach the ones animals within the morning.

“But additionally it’s large for the folks in Cambodia, and all of the folks all over the world who’re affected by landmines. The PDSA Gold Medal award brings the issue of landmines to world consideration.”

He mentioned rats are clever and can paintings at repetitive duties for meals rewards higher than different animals.

Their dimension manner they’re in much less risk after they stroll thru landmine fields.

The rats are skilled to come across a chemical compound inside explosives and require a 12 months of coaching prior to they’re qualified. They paintings for round part an hour an afternoon, within the early morning. When they come across a landmine, they scratch the highest, which indicators their human handlers.


Magawa, who’s now nearing retirement age, can seek the realm of a tennis court docket in 30 minuted, one thing that might take a human with a steel detector as much as 4 days.

PDSA director normal Jan McLoughlin mentioned: “The paintings of Magawa and APOPO is in point of fact distinctive and remarkable.

“Cambodia estimates that between 4 and 6 million landmines had been laid within the nation between 1975 and 1998, that have unfortunately brought about over 64,000 casualties.

“Magawa’s paintings at once saves and adjustments the lives of fellows, girls and youngsters who’re impacted by means of those landmines. Each and every discovery he makes reduces the danger of harm or demise for native folks.”

Cambodia has the perfect selection of mine amputees according to capita on the earth – greater than 40,000 folks.

A digital presentation for Magawa will happen on Friday.

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