Magawa, Rat That Hunted Land Mines, Dies in Retirement

The African giant pouched rat sniffed out more than 100 mines and other pieces of unexploded ordnance in Cambodia over five years, winning hearts and an international award.

Magawa, a rat who spent most of his life sniffing out land mines in Cambodia and was recognized for his lifesaving contributions, died last weekend, the nonprofit that trained him said in a statement on Tuesday.

The African giant pouched rat was part of the “HeroRAT” initiative run by the Belgian nonprofit APOPO, which works across Southeast Asia and Africa, training rats to detect land mines and tuberculosis.

Over the course of a yearslong career with APOPO, Magawa found more than 100 land mines and other pieces of unexploded ordnance, the nonprofit organization said, describing him as the most successful rat in the program to date.

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