This ‘Hero Rat’ Is Saving Cambodia, One Landmine at a Time

Rats are often associated with disease, sewage and trash, but the viral story of a brave rodent in Cambodia has changed mindsets overnight.

Born in Tanzania, Magawa is a 5-year-old African giant pouched rat who can detect deadly unexploded ordnance lying hidden in the jungles and open fields across Cambodia, the second most landmine-affected country after Afghanistan.

From the unexploded bombs dropped during the Vietnam war, to the landmines laid by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s and in decades of civil conflict that followed, Cambodia has more than 25,000 mine amputees, the largest per capita in the world.

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