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Cambodia Rat Awarded Gold Medal For Saving Hundreds Of Lives By Investigating Explosive Landmines

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After years of being associated with plagues and trash, Rats are now receiving their well-deserved recognition and appreciation. Cambodia has pioneered rodent acknowledgment by awarding a brave rodent a gold medal, and bestowing upon it the title of ‘Hero Rat’. Magawa, a rat who sniffs and detects landmines in Cambodia has been rewarded for his services towards saving lives and establishing peace in the territory. Here is what you need to know about him.



Born in Tanzania, Magawa is a 5-year-old African giant pouched rat that detects lethal dormant ordnance from under the jungles and open fields across Cambodia. In only 4 years, Magawa has located at least 39 active landmines and 28 unexploded munitions, thus saving hundreds of lives through his services. According to Al-Jazeera the land that Magawa has cleared roughly equals to the size of 20 football fields.


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In September, The British charity People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals rewarded the rat for his life-saving service, by honoring him with a gold medal for his “life-saving bravery and devotion to duty.” Magawa’s win has since taken the internet by storm, setting the spotlight on rats and the developing research pertaining to them.

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Magawa’s narrative is undoubtedly a reckoning for us in realizing that we are interdependent with our non-human companions on earth who lend a helping paw for a very manmade disaster. Animals like Magawa are extremely clever and adaptable and are now being increasingly used in several search operations due to lower costs and the feasibility of training.



Source: PDSA Twitter

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