The “hero rat” who sniffed dozens of landmines in Cambodia is retiring.

Magawa, an African pouched rat, is retiring at the end of June after successfully locating dozens of landmines in Cambodia and potentially saving many lives. Announced on Friday.

APOPO, which means Anti-Personsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling in Dutch, or the development of anti-personnel minesweeper products in English, is a non-profit organization based in Tanzania. Trained Magawa To find landmines. In its seven-year career, Magawa recovered 71 landmines and 38 unexploded ordnance, according to the organization. To date, it has helped clear more than 225,000 square meters of land – approximately 32 football fields.

“Magawa’s performance has been unbeatable, and I’m proud to work side by side with it,” its handler Mellon said in a news release. “He is small but he has helped save many lives so that we can get our people back to the much needed safe land as soon as possible and at low cost. But it is slowing down, and we need to Needs need to be respected. ”

Magawa’s efforts earned him a gold medal last year. People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA)A veterinary charity in the United Kingdom has made him the first rat to receive the award in its 77-year nonprofit history. PDSA Director General John McLaughlin praised Magawa’s work and called him a “hero rat.” Virtual presentation Of medals.

Magawa was awarded a gold medal for sniffing dozens of landmines in Cambodia. In his seven-year career, he has found about 40 of them.

People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA)

APOPO is preparing to end the Magawa race by bringing in a new team of rat recruiters. Last week, a group of rats detecting 20 newly trained landmines was tested by Cambodia’s Mine Action Center and “went through flying colors,” the organization said.

Mice, called organizations. HeroRATSThey are the only animals that can safely locate mines due to their light weight and sense of smell. They’re even faster than humans at finding them – the PDSA said Magawa could locate the tennis court area in 30 minutes, which could take a human being up to four days with a metal detector.

According to APOPO, more than 60 million people in 59 countries, from Cambodia to Zimbabwe, live in daily fear because of landmines left in previous conflicts. With over 40,000 amputated childrenCambodia has one of the highest per capita child survivors in the world. However, progress has been made. In 2020 alone, APOPO Cambodia cleared more than 4 million square feet of land.