A landmine detection rat called Magawa, has won the animal equivalent of Britain’s highest civilian honour for bravery because of his uncanny knack of sniffing out landmines.
UK’s leading veterinary charity, PDSA, has honoured Magawa with its Gold Medal for his life-saving work in Cambodia, making him the first rat to receive a PDSA award.
Magawa, whose official job title is HeroRAT, originates from Tanzania, where a charity called APOPO has 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.
Magawa has been detecting landmines for the past seven years. “He completely ignores any scrap metal lying around and so is much faster at finding landmines than people would be. He can search the area of a tennis court in 30 minutes, something that would take a human with a metal detector up to four days.”
Watch Magawa in action in the tribute video below: