A giant mouse in Africa has been awarded a gallantry award for his sniffing services. Reportedly, the mouse over the years has had helped the security services with sniffing out landmines and unexploded explosives in Cambodia.
The award to the mouse was presented by UK based veterinary charity People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA). The charity said that in his illustrious career, the mouse sniffed out 39 landmines and 28 unexploded items of ordnance.
Trained by APOPO, Magawa is among the few hero rats selected for his exceptional result during the training. The charity claims the mouse is just 1.2 kgs heavy, which is light enough to not set off a mine in his pursuit of hunting for the same.
This is the first time in the PDSA’s 77-year-long history that a rodent has won such an award.
For the unaware, APOPO is a charity in Belgium that trains and raise rats for sniffing purposes. It takes a year to train these HeroRATS to become fully certified and ready to join the bomb-sniffing squads.
Cambodia, once a victim of war, is still dealing with the remnants of mines that kill several people each year. As per the Cambodian Mine Victim Information Service has recorded 19,684 people killed since 1979.
Cambodia has seen its worst years during the 1970s Khmer Rouge “Killing Fields” genocide, leaving it with one of the world’s highest disability rates.