Home / Funny / Animals / Magawa The Landmine-Detection Rat Receives Medal Of Honour


In most countries, rats are seen as a pest. But, as in most cases, there's always an exception to everything.

Meet Magawa, or HeroRAT Magawa, as he is officially known in his life-saving circles, the Gambian or African giant pouched rat.

Magawa has been trained to detect landmines by the charity, APOPO. Believe it or not, there's more than one rat that detects landmines, and you can actually adopt one of them as a sponsor. Yes, we had the exact facial expression you're probably having right now, so we delved deeper into APOPO and what they actually do. We also double checked the date to make sure we're not being fooled by Mr April right now.

According to their website, APOPO's scent detection animals, nicknamed 'HeroRATs' and 'HeroDOGs', help to rid the world of landmines and tuberculosis – returning safe land back to communities for development, and freeing people from serious illness so they can get back on their feet.

OK, back to Magawa and his medal.

Bored Panda reports that Magawa is the charity's leading and most successful rodent. He has discovered 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded ordnance. He also cleared and made safe over 141,000 square meters of land for local people in Cambodia.

The Gold Medal for bravery and devotion to duty was awarded via video link – yes, this story is getting weirder by the minute – by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, a leading veterinary charity in the UK.

Magawa's little medal is 18.25mm in diameter and weights 3.9g and was made by none other than Cleave & Co – the same company that made Meghan Markle's engagement ring.

Oh yes, off course there is a video of the historic announcement, why wouldn't there be? Watch the PDSA video below and try to keep a straight face, just like the guy presenting the video.

Image credits: NBC News, USA Today and ABC7 New York

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