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Magawa, Cambodia's most famous minesweeper rat, dies

Magawa , a decorated rat for detecting antipersonnel mines in Cambodia, died last weekend at 8 years, reported the Belgian NGO Apopo.

“Magawa was in good health and spent most of his time playing with his usual enthusiasm. As the end of The week seemed slower and he slept more, showing less interest in food in his last days, “the NGO in charge of his training and care said in a statement on Tuesday. Magawa retired last after five years of work in which his nose has allowed him to find more than 100 mines and unexploded bombs in the second country most affected by these types of weapons after Afghanistan.

In his time of service, Magawa cleaned of explosives a surface of 225,000 square meters in areas of Cambodia affected by the Abandoned bombs and mines, which has helped locals regain their activities without fear of dying or being amputated.

The job of this African giant rat, born in Tanzania in 2013 , was recognized in September 2020 by the organization PDSA (acronym for People's Dispensary for Sick Animals), which rewards animals for their bravery and devotion, by awarding them a gold medal.

Three million mines

This recognition made her the first rat to receive an award like this in the 77-year history of PDSA and shared r glory with numerous dogs, some horses, pigeons and a cat.

Apopo trains rats to detect chemicals in explosives and ignore scraps of metal to find unexploded ordnance much faster.

Related news

Cambodia is the second most affected country by landmines in the world after Afghanistan, and it is believed that up to 6 million during the armed conflicts that ravaged the country in between 1975 and 1998, of which 3 million have not yet been located.

Antipersonnel mines have caused around 64,000 victims in the country , which has the highest number of amputees by them per capita in the world: more than 40,000 people for a population of 16 million inhabitants.

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