RAT Saves Lives by Sniffing Out Unexploded Landmines

RAT Saves Lives by Sniffing Out Unexploded Landmines

Photo: Google Images

A rat has received a gold medal for his work in sniffing out unexploded landmines, saving countless lives in Cambodia.

According to NBC News, a British veterinary charity, called the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, administered the award.

The organization gave Magawa, the so-called “hero rat,” a small blue collar and mini-gold medal.

“Magawa’s work directly saves and changes the lives of those impacted by these landmines,” said PDSA Director General Jan McLoughlin.

The African Giant-Pouched Rat has so far discovered 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded ordnance across the country.

Experts said he can also search an area the size of a tennis court in 30 minutes. Accordingly, it is something that would take a human with a metal detector up to four days.

According to Belgium-based charity APOPO, it takes about nine months to train up rats like Magawa.

“Unlike metal detectors, the rats ignore scrap metal and only sniff out explosives, making them fast and efficient landmine detectors,” said APOPO chief executive Christophe Cox.

Internal conflicts in Cambodia between 1975 and 1998 eventually laid an estimated 5 million landmines across the country. They make agricultural land unsafe for farming.

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