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“Super Rat” Awarded With Gold Medal

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A landmine detection rat, in Cambodia has collected the highest award in the British animal kingdom for his life-saving bravery.EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 25 Undated handout photo issued by the PDSA of Cambodian landmine detection rat, Magawa, wearing his PDSA Gold Medal, the animal equivalent of the George Cross. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat, has discovered 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded ordnance since he was trained by charity APOPO. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday September 25, 2020. See PA story ANIMALS Rat. Photo credit should read: PDSA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

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According to iNew

Magawa (that’s his name)  transformed the lives of many residents in a country still picking up the pieces after decades of internal conflict,

Magawa is a landmine detection rat, which means he’s an expert at detecting explosives.  He has just been awarded the PDSA Gold Medal – the animal equivalent of the George Cross

he’s extremely quick at finding landmines. He can search the area of a tennis court in half an hour – something that would take a human with a metal detector up to four days.

There are lots of Super Rats, though Magawa is among the most successful. He has discovered 39 landmines and 28 other unexploded remnants to date, helping to free up land the size of 20 football pitches for people to live and work on safely.

He is the first rat ever to receive the honour, following in the paws, claws and hooves of brave dogs, pigeons, horses, and a cat.


Magawa’s handler, Malen, met him on the day he arrived in Cambodia. She says she instantly knew he was exceptional. “We’ve been working together for more than four years now, and I’m so proud of him. He’s very special to me.”

“He’s smart, quick and never misses a trick. He has saved the lives of many people. I hope that one day we can clear all the landmines in Cambodia.”

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