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Rat Wins a Gold Medal for His Life-Saving Work Sniffing Landmines in Cambodia

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Have you ever heard of a HeroRAT? Well, we are about to tell you the story of one. It is of a landmine detection rat in Cambodia. This creature’s heroic acts have saved the lives of so many citizens.

A UK charity even offered him a gold medal for his duty to the country.

The international non-profit organization called APOPO trained this Magawa, who is an African giant pouched rat. He has successfully found 39 landmines and 28 unexploded ordnances up to now. APOPO also trains African giant pouched rats to detect diseases.

One hundred forty-one thousand square meters of land has been cleared thanks to this amazing creature. The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals presented him with the gold medal. Magawa is the first rat ever to receive this honor. 

According to the Director-General of PDSA Jan McLoughlin, Magawa received this medal because he protects and changes the lives of many people who are affected by these landmines. Every time he discovers a landmine, it reduces the injury and death rate of local citizens. 

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APOPO trained this HeroRATs in Tanzania. He can identify the chemical substances in explosives and alert humans regarding their whereabouts. Hard to believe how intelligent this creature is, right?

Photo 85793622 © Noelbynature |

HeroRAT Magawa, was trained using clicker training. After hearing a click, the rat then receives tasty food for finding the right target scent. Since the Magawa ignores scrap metal that is just lying around, he is faster at finding landmines than metal detectors. 

When he picks up the scent of TNT, Magawa kicks into high alert and scratches the surrounding ground to alert his team. They then progress to cordon off the area to identify the potential traps. 

He does have downtime where he enjoys his treats and playing on his play wheel. He relishes peanuts, watermelon, and bananas.

Magawa gets checked by vets about fortnightly. He is a friendly little guy with a personality, headstrong and spunky.

Why do they use rats to find landmines

HeroRATS are very light; therefore, they don’t detonate the landmines, and they are very quick at finding them.

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Landmines have cause tragic accidents. Landmines prevent development, which constrains communities to access fertile land. It also prevents access to travel routes. 

This brave creature and his trainers deserve our utmost respect. Click below to enjoy a video of the Magawa awarded with the gold medal.

Animals are amazing creatures below we have listed five animals that are capable of detecting infections and diseases in humans.

Rats. They are also known to be able to identify tuberculosis 80 percent of the time.
Dogs. Researchers suggested that dogs can detect breast cancer with 99 percent accuracy. 
Mice. U.S. scientists have shown mice can be trained to identify avian flu in ducks feces with 90 percent accuracy.
Fruit Flies. These annoying bugs, according to an Italian study they react to scents of specific cancer cells.
Pigeons. Researchers maintain that pigeons can identify malignant cells with 85 percent accuracy by day 15 of training.

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