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'Hero Rat' that's detected land mines in Cambodia set to retire

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Posted at 3:16 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 15:16:40-04

APOPO said its "Hero Rat" Magawa, who has detected land mines over the past five years in Cambodia, is retiring.

In a news release, the organization stated that Magawa has sniffed out and found 71 land mines and 38 other types of bombs.

During his illustrious career, APOPO said Magawa had cleared 56 acres of land, which has allowed "local communities to live, work, play and be educated; without fear of losing life or limb."

“Magawa’s performance has been unbeaten, and I have been proud to work side-by-side with him," Malen, Magawa’s handler, said in the press release. "He is small, but he has helped save many lives allowing us to returns much-needed safe land back to our people as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. But he is slowing down, and we need to respect his needs. I will miss working with him!”

According to their website, the non-profit organization trains African giant pouched rats to help save lives by detecting landmines and tuberculosis.

The organization said before he retires, Magawa will help mentor and train the incoming recruits.