Cambodia continues to live tragic accidents due to the large number of landmines that still exist in some locations of the country. However, very little by little these artifacts are being removed.
For this arduous task the teams count on small animals capable of finding these artifacts. Among them is Magawa, a southern giant pocket rat, which has been awarded for her “courage and devotion to saving lives” in the country.
The English organization PDSA, which awards 30 animals its gold medal for “animal gallantry or devotion to duty”, has rewarded the work of the animal with this award. Magawa is the first rat to receive this award in the 77-year history of the awards.
The curious animal has succeeded locate 39 mines and 28 unexploded ordnance during your professional career. The training of the animal was carried out by the NGO APOPO, (Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling), which is very grateful for the recognition obtained.
Weighing just over a kilo, the rodent is capable of detect mines on a terrain equivalent to a tennis court in about 20 minutes. The same work done by a man would take more than 4 days.
APOPO CEO Christophe Cox explains: “They are taught to detect a chemical compound within explosives, at which point, they scratch the top to alert your trainers. ”
In addition to being able to detect mines, this little animal is also being used to detect tuberculosis in humans. The good sense of smell of these rodents allows them to locate the trinitrotoluene.
Far from scaring the population of the country, this little animal is managing to save a large number of lives that would be lost due to the inadvertent detonation of these war devices.