A mouse tasked with clearing mines in Cambodia awarded a medal of bravery. The mouse named Magawa is part of the Hero Rat program, which is trained to clear mines. Cambodia is among the countries with the highest number of mines in the world.
An animal was awarded in Cambodia, which is one of the countries where the world’s most land mines are buried.
Trained as part of the Hero Rat (hero mouse) program of the non-governmental organization APOPO, Magawa received a medal of courage.
It was stated that Magawa cleans an area the size of 20 football fields in total.
The mouse was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal designed for animals.
It stated that the PDSA medal was equivalent to the Order of George awarded to civilians who showed usefulness in danger.
It is stated that Magawa has detected 39 mines and 28 explosive ammunition so far.
Christophe Cox, director of APOPO, said, “It is a great honor for us to receive this medal. I have been working at APOPO for 20 years in total.”
Compared to other animals, Cox said the mice were more intelligent and willing to work harder for the food reward.
Mice enrolled in APOPO’s Hero Rat program receive one year of basic training.
It is estimated that between 4-6 million landmines are buried in Cambodia. The mines have claimed the lives of more than 64,000 people so far. Cambodia also has the highest rate of mine injury.
More than 40,000 children and adults in the country have suffered limb loss from mines.