Magawa, an African giant pouched rat, has been awarded the PDSA Gold Medal for his work detecting landmines in Cambodia. He is the first rat to receive the award, which is given to animals who have shown “outstanding devotion to duty”.
Magawa has discovered 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded ordnance during his career, making him the most successful rat in APOPO’s landmine detection program. He has helped to clear over 141,000 square meters of land, which has made it safe for local people to use.
Magawa was trained in Tanzania by APOPO, a non-profit organization that uses rats to detect landmines and tuberculosis. The rats are trained to sniff out the chemical compounds in explosives, and they can detect landmines that are up to 10 cm below the ground.
Magawa is a small, gentle rat who is not afraid of working in dangerous conditions. He is also very accurate, and he has never made a false positive.
The PDSA Gold Medal is a prestigious award, and it is a testament to Magawa’s bravery and dedication. He is an inspiration to all animals who work to make the world a safer place.