Cambodia's hero rat Magawa dies at 8

Wednesday 19th January 2022 06:07 EST

Phnom Penh: Heroic Cambodian rodent Magawa who was responsible for detecting more than 100 landmines and explosives died recently. He was eight and also received medal for his heroism. He retired in June last year, according to international non- profit organisation Apopo. Belgium-based Apopo trains African rats to use their sniffing quality to find out explosives, thus making it safer for the residents to work, play and live. These trained rats are named as hero rats.

The organisation said that Magawa was in good health and spent most of last week playing with his usual enthusiasm, but towards the weekend he started to slow down, napping more and showing less interest in food in his last days. “All of us at Apopo are feeling the loss of Magawa and we are grateful for the incredible work he’s done,” the organisation said in a tribute.

In 2020, Magawa was honored with a gold medal from the UK-based People’s Dispensary for Sick
Animals for “lifesaving bravery and devotion to duty” – the first rat to receive the award. Bred in Tanzania, Magawa underwent training before moving to Cambodia in 2016 to begin his landmine
sniffing job.

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