While no one wants to find a rat who has settled in as an uninvited house guest, the animals have been given an unfair reputation. Take this little guy named Magawa as an example.
The African giant poached rat is a member of APOPO, a charity organization based in the U.K. He spends his days walking around Cambodia to detect unexploded land mines, which means he has helped save countless lives!
According to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a prominent veterinary charity in the U.K., much of Cambodia’s economy relies on agriculture. Unfortunately, more than 5 million land mines are scattered around the country as a result of past wars, so there’s plenty of unused land.
That’s where Magawa comes in! Since he started working with APOPO, he has cleared more than 35 acres of land, discovered over 39 land mines, and located more than 28 other unexploded objects. In other words, he protects his community with each new discovery!
Out of all APOPO’s service rats, Magawa is by far the most successful! Because of this, the brave little guy caught the attention of PDSA, and they just officially declared him a hero!
In fact, they went a step further by honoring him with the PDSA Gold Medal. The organization has been around for 77 years, so they’ve had plenty of time to recognize courageous animals, but Magawa is the first rat to ever join their ranks.
“The PDSA Animal Awards program seeks to raise the status of animals in society and honor the incredible contribution they make to our lives,” said Jan McLoughlin, PDSA’s director general. “Magawa’s dedication, skill, and bravery are an extraordinary example of this and deserve the highest possible recognition.”
“Magawa’s work directly saves and changes the lives of men, women, and children who are impacted by these land mines,” she added. “Every discovery he makes reduces the risk of injury or death for local people.”
The high praise isn’t going to Magawa’s head though! While he’s arguably the highest-ranking rat on earth, he still shows up to work every day to make the people of Cambodia feel safe on their own land. Keep up the great work!
Watch PDSA honor Magawa in the video below, and don’t forget to share this story with your friends.
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