The male of the giant pouch rat Magawa helped search for about 225,000 square meters during his five-year career. He found over a hundred landmines and other explosives and received an award for his services. He died last week, the AFP agency wrote.
Rats are looking for mines in a minefield
Animals have some senses more developed than humans. Man uses their abilities in many industries. For example, rats have a well-developed sense of smell and detect chemical components in explosives. They ignore common safe metal residues to find mines much faster than a person with a detector. The rat does the same job, which takes four days, in just half an hour.
In Cambodia, they were looking for explosives with a rat male Magawa. His training lasted a year. He served for five years and actively sought explosives for treats. During his tenure, he uncovered 71 landmines and 38 other unexploded ordnance. He searched 225,000 square kilometers and found more than 100 explosives.
Honors for Courage and Devotion to Work in Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the most landmine-infested countries, according to Mag International, an agency that specializes in demining in more than 20 countries. Landmines in Cambodia are a remnant of the fighting between the Khmer Rouge, the government, and other actors, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Since 1979, explosives have killed or injured more than 64,000 people there.
Magawa received an award for courage and devotion from the veterinary charity PDSA. The rat hero lived to be eight years old. After half a year of retirement, he left peacefully last weekend. “The whole of Apopo is feeling the loss of Magawa. We are grateful for the fantastic work he has done, “said representatives of the organization.
Animals work with humans in many ways. Rescue dogs look for stuck bodies in the rubble after an earthquake or in an avalanche. Others accompany the blind. Animal colleagues deserve the award as well as their human colleagues.
Source and credit: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/press-office/latest-news/landmine-detection-rat-receives-animals-george-cross