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Cambodia’s landmine-sniffing ‘hero rat’ retires after five years of service

SCMP, 10 Jun 2021
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Magawa, the landmine-sniffing “hero rat”, completed his last mission on May 31, 2021 and has retired after five years of service in Cambodia. The African giant pouched rat was awarded by the UK-based veterinary charity, People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a gold medal in 2020 for his “life-saving bravery and devotion to duty”. During the span of his career, Magawa detected 71 landmines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance, according to the charity group APOPO, which trains rats and dogs to detect landmines as well as tuberculosis. Cambodia has one of the world’s highest numbers of mine amputees per capita, with more than 40,000 people left disabled from landmines, PDSA said.

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