Rat Who Sniffed Out 71 Landmines, Finally Retires

Magawa, an African giant rat finally retires after sniffing out landmines for about five years. This rodent was trained by a Belgian nonprofit, APOPO to alert the humans around him about the landmines so that the explosives can be removed safely. Magawa has sniffed out 71 landmines while covering nearly 1.5 million square feet of land.

Last year, it won the British charity’s top civilian award for animal bravery, an award which used to be only reserved for dogs. “Although still in good health, he has reached a retirement age and is clearly starting to slow down,” APOPO said. “It is time.” Rodents are used to detect landmines because of their size, they can easily walk around and sniff without triggering an explosion.

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