In Tanzania at Sokoine University of Agriculture a charity called APOPO have been training rats to detect landmines since the early 1990s. Even today, it’s estimated that there are still 80 million landmines around the world which are lying active and unknown. That’s why rats like Magawa have been trained.
Magawa is an African Giant Pouched Rat – so much larger than your average pet rat – but still light enough that he would never set off a landmine by walking over it.
Recently, Magawa, whose official job title is HeroRAT, was awarded a gold medal by The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) for his life-saving work in Cambodia, making him the first rat to receive a PDSA award.
Read Full story in the following links:
- HeroRAT Magawa receives award for life-saving bravery (from apopo.org)
- Landmine Detection Rat Magawa Received The PDSA Gold Medal For His Life-Saving Work In Cambodia, Making Him The First Rat To Receive A PDSA Award (from SUA Pest Management Centre website)