Tanzania’s Hero rat Magawa dies aged 8

Tuesday January 11 2022
Magawa pic
By The Citizen Reporter

Magawa the Tanzanian rat, who was awarded a gold medal for his heroism in 2020 and retired from his job of detecting landmines in 2021, has died.

In a career that spanned over five years the rodent sniffed out 71 landmines and dozens more unexploded items in Cambodia.

At the time of his retirement Magawa had cleared more than 141,000 square metres of land, the equivalent of some 20 football pitches.

But his handler Malen said the then seven-year-old African giant pouched rat was "slowing down" as he reached old age, and she wanted to "respect his needs". Unfortunately, at the age of 8, Magawa passed away.

Magawa was born in Morogoro, Tanzania in 2014 and was trained at Sokoine University of Agriculture.

In 2016, Magawa moved to Cambodia’s north-western city of Siem Reap, home of the famed Angkor temples, to begin his bomb-sniffing career.

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