The Guardian Weekly - 2021-06-11


Magawa the mine-sniffing rat ends career on a high

Global Report

After five years of sniffing out landmines and unexploded ordnance, Magawa is retiring. The African giant pouched rat has been the most successful rodent trained and overseen by a Belgian nonprofit, APOPO, to find landmines and alert its human handlers so the explosives can be safely removed. Magawa has cleared 141,000 square metres of land, sniffing out 71 landmines, according to APOPO. “Although still in good health, he has reached a retirement age and is clearly starting to slow down,” the group said. “It is time.” Magawa is part of a cohort of rats bred to detect mines, as their size allows them to walk across minefields without triggering explosives.



The Guardian Weekly

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