Magawa spent five years searching for landmines in Cambodia. He helped clear mines in an area of 225 thousand square meters. In his career, he has found 71 landmines and 38 other explosives.
The Belgian Abobo Foundation, which trained Magawa, reported his death to AFP. “We all feel Magawa’s loss and are grateful for the wonderful work he did,” the foundation wrote.
In September 2020, Magawa received another high award for his lifesaving work. In this video you can see how he did it:
Magawa retired in June of last year. Owner Michael Heymann then told us that the mouse looked “a bit tired” and so it was decided to let him go.
According to Abobo, the Rat has been enjoying his retirement in recent months and played until last week with “the usual enthusiasm”. But over the weekend, his condition quickly deteriorated and he “lost interest in food”.
A detective rat was trained by the Belgians to sniff out the chemicals contained in explosives. It was kept tied up by its owner throughout his career and wasn’t heavy enough to blow mines. When he found something, he started digging and was rewarded with something delicious.
Magawa was also fast: in half an hour he discovered an area the size of a tennis court. With a normal reagent, this could take up to four days. Magawa was followed by about twenty other rats.
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