Magawa is an African Giant Pouch Rat. During his 5-year career, this courageous rat sniffed out over 100 landmines and other devices.
Apopo, a German organization, provided him with training. He can safely tread across explosives that he senses from the chemical scent of the device due to his weight of 2.7 lbs. The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a veterinary organization in the United Kingdom, awarded him a medal.
APOPO told ABC News that teaching animals like Magawa can enhance productivity and save costs in the decades-long struggle to clear landmines from former conflict zones, which impact 60 million people in 59 nations.
In the 1990s, Apopo began breeding these creatures, known as HeroRATs, to detect landmines.
Sadly, the African giant pouch rat, who was 8 years old at the time, “died away quietly” in January of this year.
Magawa was in good health, according to his charity, and “spent most of last week playing with his typical zeal.” “In his final days, he started to slow down, dozing more and exhibiting less interest in eating,” according to the report.
As he grew older, the rat retired in June 2021.
“Everyone at Apopo is grieving Magawa’s passing, and we are grateful for the amazing job he has done,” the organization stated in a statement.
They went on to say that his “extraordinary sense of smell” enabled “people in Cambodia to live, work, and play without fear of losing life or limb.”
Magawa, thank you for your service! Below is a video of his incredible story: