- A rat who works as a landmine detector has recently won an award for saving lives.
- Magawa is a Gambian pouched rat who was trained by an international organization o detect landmines and other ordnance.
- So far in his career, he has unearthed 39 landmines and 28 ammo items.
A rat in Cambodia whose work is to detect landmines has recently been awarded a gold medal from a UK-based organization for his amazing life-saving works.
Magawa, a huge Gambian pouched rat, was trained in Tanzania by APOPO — an international non-profit group — to detect landmines.
His training goes pretty much like how dogs are trained: clicker training.
“During training [the rats] hear a ‘click’ and receive a tasty food reward for finding the correct target scent,” says APOPO CEO Christophe Cox.
Since Magawa can ignore scraps of metals lying on the ground, he can search faster for the target scent and can take only thirty minutes to search a tennis court-wide area compared to using a metal detector, which can take 4 days.
So far in his career, he has detected 39 landmines and 28 items of combat weapons and unexploded bombs, which makes him the best ‘hero rat’ of the organization to date.
He has helped clear more than 141,000 square meters of land, making that huge area safe for the locals to live in again.
Last week, Magawa formally received the gold medal for his devotion and huge contribution from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) through a live conference between Cambodia and Great Britain.
In the charity’s 77-year long history of awarding animals, Magawa is the first rat to have received a medal — adding him to the ranks of brave cats, dogs, pigeons, and horses.
Jan McLoughlin, Director General of PDSA, shared that Magawa’s work of directly saving the lives of the local people, who are constantly affected by the landmines, has won him the precious award.
Source: Good News Network