Mine-detecting Rat Wins Gold Medal


Source: Photo: PDSA handout via dpa

Photo: PDSA handout via dpa

By: Conner Elling, Reporter

Magawa is an African giant pouched rat who’s duty is to sniff out land-mines and bombs. And just last week Magawa was awarded a prestigious gold medal. Magawa had to go through 1 year of training before becoming a certified land-mine detector. In his career, Magawa has sniffed out 39 land-mines and 28 unexploded munitions. The 7-year-old rodent was trained by the Belgium-registered charity Apopo, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to training rats to detect land-mines and tuberculosis. Of the 30 animals to receive this award Magawa is the first rat.  The Apopo chief executive said,” To receive this award is really an honor for us but it is also big for the people in Cambodia, and all the people around the world suffering from landmines.”

Magawa is a large rat born in Tanzania. He is 2.6 pounds and 28 inches, his species is much larger than the average rate but e is still small enough to not trigger off mines if he steps on one.  The rats fins the mines by detecting the chemical compound in the