Rat Who is Acknowledged for Sniffing Land Mines Receives Gold Medal.

Peyton Feldman, Writer

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 It’s difficult to believe that an animal with such a bad reputation could be as aspiring to win a gold medal for saving countless lives but that’s exactly what a rat named Magawa did in Cambodia. According to NBC news “ Magawa, a so-called “hero rat” was presented with a small blue collar and mini-gold medal by the British veterinary charity the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) on Friday.” His work of sniffing unexploded land mines all over rural Cambodia after warfare has saved countless civilians and reduced the risk of injuries and death. Rats are perfect for this dangerous task because they are too small and lightweight to detonate a mine and they are trained to smell TNT. A metal detector would take up to 4 days to search a tennis court sized area but Magawa can do it in 30 minutes. The rats are also more efficient as they’ll leave scrap metals alone and are cost friendly. 

Land once affected by an internal war near the Thai borders in the years 1975-1998 is an area with approximately 5 million land mines still affects the region today. It leaves tons or acres of agricultural land unsafe to farm in, impacting the populations lifestyles. Hopefully this is a sustainable solution to such a massive problem that has affected people for decades.