AN African giant pouched rat named Magawa, who was presented with a gold medal for detecting the scent of the explosive chemicals used in landmines has passed away over the weekend at the age of eight.
According to a press release issued by Sokoine University (SUA) – APOPO Rodent Research Project, during his career, Magawa found over 100 landmines and other explosives, making him APOPO’s most successful HeroRAT to date.
It said Magawa was in good health and spent most of last week playing with his usual enthusiasm, but towards the weekend he started to slow down, napping more and showing less interest in food in his last days. Mgawa’s contribution allows communities in Cambodia to live, work, and play; without fear of losing life or limb.
In September 2020, he was formally presented with a PDSA Gold Medal – the highest award for gallantry an animal can receive. Last year when Magawa retired, HeroRAT Ronin took up the baton as the new adoption rat. According to the website “every discovery Magawa made reduced the risk of injury or death for the people of Cambodia.
Magawa is an African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys ansorgei) that was born in Tanzania at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in November 2013″. He had recently celebrated his birthday in November, reaching the grand old age of 8. It said every discovery Magawa made reduced the risk of injury or death for the people of Cambodia.
Magawa is an African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys ansorgei) that was born in Tanzania at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in November 2013. Since 2000, APOPO has developed its operational headquarters, training and breeding center at SUA where all the landmine detection rats are born and trained.
This is also home to APOPO’s Innovation department that researches and develops the innovative applications and advanced techniques used in existing operations. This is where he learned how to find explosives using his amazing sense of smell. Magawa moved to Siem Reap in Cambodia in 2016, where he began his career.