Since the year 2013 in which he was born, he has dedicated part of his life to avoiding tragedies in the world. Magawa, a giant rat from Tanzania, an expert in detecting landmines and explosives, this month will end his career helping other people.
After five years of service, the rodent, who has practiced in Cambodia, faces his retirement, as confirmed by the APOPO (Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling, in Dutch). This organization, founded in 1997, trains this type of animals for this purpose.
Awarded a gold medal
During his years of experience he has achieved detect 71 mines and 38 unexploded ordnance. It is, as APOPO assures, the most effective example of the project. “For the past five years he has helped clear more than 225,000 square meters of land, allowing local communities to live, work, play and educate themselves; sin fear of losing life or limb“, they stand out.
At the end of last year a UK veterinary charity, the PDSA, presented him with a gold medal for her work and was decorated as a “hero rat”. With his barely 20 centimeters he has achieved save the lives of hundreds of people in Cambodia.
Help avoid tragedies
One of the keys is your smell, with which you can detect chemical odors. The other, its size: it is so small that its weight is insufficient for explosives to detonate. Thanks to Magawa, it has been possible to avoid the recurrence of tragedies such as that of a man who at the age of seven lost a leg after stepping on a mine.
“Landmines continue to inflict pain and fear on a new generation of Cambodians, a generation that was not even born when these mines were laid. The minefield clearing is intense, difficult and dangerous work that demands precision and time “, highlights APOPO in its farewell statement to Magawa.