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Tanzanian-born hero rat that received gold medal for detecting explosives retires

By Bosco Marita On Sat, 5 Jun, 2021 14:21 | < 1 min read
Hero rat Magawa set to retire. PHOTO: Courtesy

A Tanzanian-born rat with the ability to detect landmines in Cambodia is set to retire after five years of service.

The rodent named Magawa received one of Britain’s highest animal honours in September 2020 for its impressive record of clearing more than 2.4 million square feet of land.

Magawa, in the process of clearing the land, found 38 items of unexploded ordnance and 71 land mines.

The rodent was trained by APOPO on how to sniff out explosives.

APOPO is a non-profit organization that trains African giant pouched rats to save lives by detecting landmines and tuberculosis,

Hero rat Magawa set to retire. PHOTO: Courtesy

Magawa’s caretakers say the seven-year-old rat has begun losing its strength due to old age hence the need to be accorded a well-deserved retirement.

“Although still in good health, he has reached retirement age and is clearly starting to slow down. It is time,” APOPO said on Thursday, June 3.

Hero rat was born in Tanzania in November 2014. It was raised at APOPO Research and Training institute in the same country where it was trained on sniffing techniques.

It was later migrated to Siem Reap in Cambodia in 2016 where it began its professional journey of sniffing out dangerous land mines and explosives.

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