A MINE-SNIFFING rat that cleared acres of land has been awarded an animal George Cross.
Magawa sniffed out 39 landmines and 28 unexploded bombs over an space the scale of 20 soccer pitches.
He was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal — the animal equal of the George Cross and Victoria Cross gallantry medals.
Large pouched rat Magawa’s super-sensitive nostril sniffs out the explosive compound TNT.
The PDSA mentioned: “As a result of he fully ignores any scrap steel mendacity round he’s a lot quicker at discovering landmines than utilizing a steel detector.
“Magawa can search the world of a tennis court docket in 30 minutes, one thing that may take a human with a steel detector as much as 4 days.”
It’s the primary time a rat has gained the medal. All 29 earlier gongs went to canine.
Magawa was skilled in Tanzania and flown to Cambodia, one of many world’s most closely mined international locations, to work with the charity Apopo.
Boss Christophe Cox mentioned: “Rats velocity up landmine detection utilizing their wonderful sense of scent and glorious reminiscence.
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“We use clicker coaching to show rats like Magawa to scratch on the earth above a landmine.
“Throughout coaching they hear a click on and obtain a tasty meals reward for locating the proper goal scent.
“In contrast to steel detectors, the rats ignore scrap steel and solely sniff out explosives.”
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