Mine-sniffing rat Magawa ends years of arduous work in Cambodia

After 5 years of sniffing out land mines and unexploded ordnance in Cambodia, Magawa is retiring

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — After 5 years of sniffing out land mines and unexploded ordnance in Cambodia, Magawa is retiring.

The African big pouched rat has been essentially the most profitable rodent skilled and overseen by a Belgian nonprofit, APOPO, to search out land mines and alert its human handlers so the explosives could be safely eliminated.

Magawa has cleared greater than 141,000 sq. meters (1.5 million sq. toes) of land, the equal of some 20 soccer fields, sniffing out 71 land mines and 38 objects of unexploded ordnance, in keeping with APOPO.

And for the primary time, it gained a British charity’s high civilian award for animal bravery final 12 months, an honor up to now completely reserved for canines.

Magawa is a part of a cohort of rats bred for this function. He was born in Tanzania in 2014, and in 2016, moved to Cambodia’s northwestern metropolis of Siem Reap, dwelling of the famed Angkor temples, to start his bomb-sniffing profession.

APOPO additionally works with applications in Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to clear thousands and thousands of mines left behind from wars and conflicts.

Greater than 60 million individuals in 59 nations proceed to be threatened by land mines and unexploded ordinance. In 2018, landmines and different remnants of struggle killed or injured 6,897 individuals, the group says.

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