This rat Magawa reminded me of the movie Ratatouille, about a rat named Remy aspiring to become a renowned French Chef. But of course, people will not enjoy the meal cooked by him because he despised human rodents, but he turned out to be a hero in the end. Rodents are pests, not pets, dirty, and bring germs that can cause diseases. Let’s find out why he is not a pest but a distinguished awardee.
During the oustings of the Khmer Rouge and internal disputes in Cambodia in the 1980s and 1990s, millions of land mines are believed to be laid there. And thousands of people were recorded to have have been injured and mutilated there. Some parts of the country are also filled with unexploded munitions dropped in United States airstrike during the Vietnam war.
Magawa is a five-year-old African giant pouched rat and is part of the “Hero Rat” initiative run by the Belgian non-profit APOPO, training rats to save lives by spotting land mines. Magawa is the most successful rat that became part of the program. He can search a large area in just a few minutes because of his ability to sniff chemical compounds in explosives like TNT. Because of his incredible sense of smell and excellent memory, he could speed up the mines’ detection.
Magawa’s bravery saved and changed many lives who are affected by the land mines. Every discovery he made lessens the risk of death and injury for the people, so he deserved the highest possible recognition. He was the first rat to receive a gold medal award given to him by the British Charity the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals.
Who could have thought that rats are good pets as well?