A new legend is born! Meet the hero from Cambodia who's got the whole world buzzing -- Magawa! And Magawa just so happens to be a giant African pouched rat. Magawa isn't just any rat, he was trained to sniff out landmines and has now been awarded British charity's top civilian award for animal bravery!
In the past seven years, Magawa has discovered a total of 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded ordnance. People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) start began as a free vet clinic in 1917 and has been honoring heroic animals 1943. Magawa was awarded the PDSA's gold medal for his "lifesaving bravery and devotion," according to the charity.
Having cleared over 141,000 square meters of land (imagine 20 soccer fields), it is without a doubt that Magawa is worthy of this award!
APOPO Chief Executive Christophe Cox had this to say about the heroic act, "it is big for the people in Cambodia, and all the people around the world who are suffering from landmines. The PDSA Gold Medal award brings the problem of landmines to global attention."
But why use rats to sniff out landmines? Turns out, rats are perfect for such a task! Their small size (and weight) allows them to walk across minefields without triggering any explosives. Before Magawa, this was a canine job.
PDSA also happens to have a Dickin Medal for military service and the medal has since been awarded to 34 dogs, 32 pigeons, 4 horses, and one cat. However, Magawa is their rat to ever receive a PDSA award!
Congratulations Magawa, thank you for your bravery and helping make this world a safer place for us all.
Story via The Guardian