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June 11, 2021
Date of Event:

Magawa the hero rat retires from job detecting landmines

Magawa is said to be "slowing down" in his old age

Magawa the rat, who was awarded a gold medal for his heroism, is retiring from his job detecting landmines.

In a five-year career, the rodent sniffed out 71 landmines and dozens more unexploded items in Cambodia.

But his handler Malen says the seven-year-old African giant pouched rat is"slowing down" as he reaches old age, and she wants to "respect his needs".

There are thought to be up to six million landmines in the South East Asian country.

Magawa was trained by the Belgium-registered charity Apopo, which is based in Tanzania and has been raising the animals - known as HeroRATs - to detect landmines since the 1990s. The animals are certified after a year of training.

Last week, Apopo said a new batch of young rats had been assessed by the CambodianMine Action Centre (CMAC) and passed "with flying colours".

,Magawa's handler, said she wanted to "respect his needs"

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