The Cambodian rat, or rather the Gambian big rat, died at the age of 8. In June 2021, he retired, which he did not enjoy for too long.
Cambodia. The hero Magawa rat is dead
According to Reuters, the Magawa rat died at the weekend at the age of 8. “Magawa was fine and spent most of the last week having fun, but by the end of the weekend he started to get slower and slower, napping more and more and less interest in eating every day,” the nonprofit APOPO said in a statement. She also added that the animal would be buried.
Magawa spent five years searching for mines and unexploded mines in Cambodia, which he entered into the Guinness Book of Records. During his career, he managed to sniff out 71 mines and 38 unexploded bombs – including mortars and grenades. To this end, he was trained by the Belgian-registered Apopo organization, which is based in Tanzania and has been breeding animals – known as HeroRAT – to detect land mines since the 1990s.
For this purpose, animals undergo a year of training. They are useful for detecting a chemical in explosives – they ignore scrap and can search for mines faster. When they find explosives, they scratch to alert their human associates. They are also so light that they cannot activate the fuse.
The Rat-Sapper has been decommissioned. He retired because he was no longer so effective
In the summer, Malen, the rodent’s guardian, reported that although the rat could continue to do his duties, “he was much slower and was losing his reflexes, and she wanted to respect his needs and give him a peaceful fall in life.”
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Magawa did not enjoy his retirement in June for a long time. He spent it in the asylum of a British animal charity. “It is small, but it helped save many lives,” said Magawa’s guardian, quoted by the BBC.
Upon his retirement, Magawa was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal, which is sometimes referred to as the George’s Cross for Animals – for “life-saving devotion”. He was the first rat and the first non-dog animal to receive this medal in the organization’s 77-year history, he reported to Guinness World Records.