This African Giant Pouch Rat is Magawa. This hero rat sniffed over 100 landmines and other explosives throughout his 5-year career.
He was trained by a German charity, Apopo. AT his weight of 2.7 lbs, he can safely step over explosives that he detects through the bomb’s chemical smell. He won a medal from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom
With 60 million people in 59 countries affected by uncleared landmines, training animals like Magawa can improve efficiency and cut costs in a decades-long battle to clear landmines from past conflict zones, APOPO said to ABC News.
Apopo started raising these animals – known as HeroRATs – to detect landmines in the 1990s.
Sadly, the African giant pouch rat “passed away peacefully” last January this year at 8-year-old.
His charity stated that Magawa was in good health and “spent most of last week playing with his usual enthusiasm”. But by the weekend “he started to slow down, napping more and showing less interest in food in his last days.”
The rat retired in June 2021 as he reached old age.
“All of us at Apopo is feeling the loss of Magawa and we are grateful for the incredible work he’s done,” the charity said in a statement.
His “amazing sense of smell” allowed “communities in Cambodia to live, work, and play; without fear of losing life or limb”, they added.
Thank you for your service Magawa! Watch his amazing story below: