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Giant rat wins animal hero award for sniffing out landmines

Giant rat wins animal hero award for sniffing out landmines
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a rat has earned a gold medal and it is well deserved. Imagawa has been trained to sniff out land mines and so far has found 39 landmines and 28 unexploded munitions where he works in Cambodia. My God, I was trained by Tanzania based NGO Papo Papo CEO Christophe Cox said in part. For us, it is very important that P. D. S A brings the landmine program to the attention of the wider public because landmines still terrorize the lives of so many Cambodians and other people all over the world. A farmer who was directly helped by mega was set in part. I am very happy and thankful and will never forget them because I will work in this farm without fear anymore. The award was given by U. K Charity Pds A who honors a civilian animal each year for bravery. This is the first time a rat has been given the award
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Giant rat wins animal hero award for sniffing out landmines
A rat has for the first time won a British charity's top civilian award for animal bravery, receiving the honor for searching out unexploded landmines in Cambodia.Magawa, a giant African pouched rat, was awarded the PDSA’s Gold Medal for his "lifesaving bravery and devotion” after discovering 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded ordinance in the past seven years, according to the charity.First known as the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, PDSA started as a free veterinary clinic in 1917 and has honored heroic animals since 1943.Magawa was trained by a Belgian organization that has taught rats to find landmines for more than 20 years. The group, APOPO, works with programs in Cambodia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to clear millions of mines left behind from wars and conflicts.Magawa is the group’s most successful rat, having cleared more than 141,000 square meters of land, the equivalent of 20 soccer fields.APOPO chief executive Christophe Cox described Magawa's medal as a huge honor “for our animal trainers.’’“But also it is big for the people in Cambodia, and all the people around the world who are suffering from landmines,’’ Cox said. “The PDSA Gold Medal award brings the problem of landmines to global attention.”More than 60 million people in 59 countries continue to be threatened by landmines and unexploded ordinance, according to APOPO. In 2018, landmines and other remnants of war killed or injured 6,897 people, the group says.While many rodents can be trained to detect scents and will work at repetitive tasks for food rewards, APOPO decided that giant African pouched rats were best suited to landmine clearance because of their African origins and lifespan of up to eight years.Their size allows the rats to walk across mine fields without triggering the explosives and do it much more quickly than people.The PDSA’s Gold Medal has been awarded since 2002 to recognize bravery and acts of exceptional devotion by animals in civilian service. It is considered the animal equivalent of the George Cross, a decoration for heroism.Before Magawa, all the recipients were dogs.PDSA also awards the Dickin Medal for military service. The medal has been awarded to 34 dogs, 32 pigeons, four horses and one cat since it was created in 1943.___The PDSA offers the following statistics on the hero rat:• Name: Magawa• Sex: Male• Date of birth: Nov. 5, 2014• Birthplace: Morogoro, Tanzania• Current Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia• Length: 27.5 inches• Weight: 2.7 pounds• Favorite food: Bananas and peanuts• Favorite toy: Running wheel in the playground• Personality: A determined worker and always friendly• Temperament: Quick and decisive. Likes to take naps at break time• Favorite activities: Eating watermelon and looking for landmines, knowing he’ll be rewarded with bananas• What he has in common with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex: Magawa and the duchess share the same jeweler: Cleave & Company. The court jewelers made Magawa’s miniature PDSA Gold Medal as well as creating Meghan's engagement ring.•How big is Magawa’s medal: It is 0.72 inches in diameter and weighs 0.14 ounces.

A rat has for the first time won a British charity's top civilian award for animal bravery, receiving the honor for searching out unexploded landmines in Cambodia.

Magawa, a giant African pouched rat, was awarded the PDSA’s Gold Medal for his "lifesaving bravery and devotion” after discovering 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded ordinance in the past seven years, according to the charity.

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First known as the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, PDSA started as a free veterinary clinic in 1917 and has honored heroic animals since 1943.

Magawa was trained by a Belgian organization that has taught rats to find landmines for more than 20 years. The group, APOPO, works with programs in Cambodia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to clear millions of mines left behind from wars and conflicts.

Magawa is the group’s most successful rat, having cleared more than 141,000 square meters of land, the equivalent of 20 soccer fields.

APOPO chief executive Christophe Cox described Magawa's medal as a huge honor “for our animal trainers.’’

“But also it is big for the people in Cambodia, and all the people around the world who are suffering from landmines,’’ Cox said. “The PDSA Gold Medal award brings the problem of landmines to global attention.”

More than 60 million people in 59 countries continue to be threatened by landmines and unexploded ordinance, according to APOPO. In 2018, landmines and other remnants of war killed or injured 6,897 people, the group says.

While many rodents can be trained to detect scents and will work at repetitive tasks for food rewards, APOPO decided that giant African pouched rats were best suited to landmine clearance because of their African origins and lifespan of up to eight years.

Their size allows the rats to walk across mine fields without triggering the explosives and do it much more quickly than people.

The PDSA’s Gold Medal has been awarded since 2002 to recognize bravery and acts of exceptional devotion by animals in civilian service. It is considered the animal equivalent of the George Cross, a decoration for heroism.

Before Magawa, all the recipients were dogs.

PDSA also awards the Dickin Medal for military service. The medal has been awarded to 34 dogs, 32 pigeons, four horses and one cat since it was created in 1943.

___

The PDSA offers the following statistics on the hero rat:

• Name: Magawa

• Sex: Male

• Date of birth: Nov. 5, 2014

• Birthplace: Morogoro, Tanzania

• Current Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

• Length: 27.5 inches

• Weight: 2.7 pounds

• Favorite food: Bananas and peanuts

• Favorite toy: Running wheel in the playground

• Personality: A determined worker and always friendly

• Temperament: Quick and decisive. Likes to take naps at break time

• Favorite activities: Eating watermelon and looking for landmines, knowing he’ll be rewarded with bananas

• What he has in common with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex: Magawa and the duchess share the same jeweler: Cleave & Company. The court jewelers made Magawa’s miniature PDSA Gold Medal as well as creating Meghan's engagement ring.

•How big is Magawa’s medal: It is 0.72 inches in diameter and weighs 0.14 ounces.