A landmine-sniffing rodent is resigning after 5 a long time of making a difference explosives groups

It has been years of arduous and hazardous work for landmine expert Magawa. He’s determinately retiring after an illustrious vocation on a squad of elites trained to suss out landmines.

The catch — Magawa, 7, is a rat. He is a component of the HeroRATs, a squad of African giant pouched rats imported to Siem Reap, Cambodia, from Tanzania. The rodent squad works for Belgian nonprofit Apopo, which finds and safely abstracts landmines left behind from Cambodia’s civil war.

The mines were laid by the Khmer Rouge in the ’70s and ’80s, and to date, have led to the deaths of proximately 65,000 people, according to non-profit HaloTrust. The bulk of the mines were deposited near Cambodia’s border with Thailand, and as the population of Cambodia perpetuates to grow, families have been coerced to move more proximate and more proximate to the mined area. Rats like Magawa have an acute sense of smell and are trained to differentiate between arbitrary scrap metal and explosive chemicals. At 2.7 pounds, Magawa is light enough not to trigger bombs even when they step directly on them.

According to Apopo, Magawa can probe a 200 square meter minefield in 20 minutes, a task which would take a bomb technician utilizing a metal detector between one and four days. But after covering some 20 football fields worth of land and prosperously detecting 71 land mines and 38 explosive remnants, Apopo believes it is time for him to kick back and relax.

“Albeit still in good health, he has reached a retirement age and is limpidly starting to decelerate,” Apopo verbalized to the Sentinel. Rats like Magawa are expected to live between six to eight years. Magawa can now look forward to spending his retirement relishing his favorite snack of bananas and peanuts. This is well-deserved after the BBC reported last year that Magawa won a PDSA gold medal in the UK, a top accolade for animal valiancy. He was rewarded, in particular, for his “life-preserving devotion to obligation, in the location and clearance of pernicious landmines in Cambodia.”

According to a 2020 report by VOA, it is estimated that four to six million land mines and other explosives are still buried in Cambodia, left in the wake of its brutal civil war. Since 1979, mine-clearing non-profit organization Halo Trust recorded over 64,000 deaths and more than 25,000 amputees from landmines and explosives left buried in the country.

July 16, 2021 | 8:33 pm