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 dimensions of 20 soccer pitches.
He was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal — the animal equal of the George Cross gallantry medal.
Big 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 metallic mendacity round he’s a lot quicker at discovering landmines than utilizing a metallic detector.
“Magawa can search the realm of a tennis court docket in 30 minutes, one thing that may take a human with a metallic detector as much as 4 days.”
It’s the primary time a rat has received the medal. All 29 earlier gongs went to canines.
Magawa was skilled in Tanzania and flown to Cambodia, one of many world’s most closely mined nations, to work with the charity Apopo.
Boss Christophe Cox mentioned: “Rats velocity up landmine detection utilizing their superb sense of odor and wonderful 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 right goal scent.
“Not like metallic detectors, the rats ignore scrap metallic and solely sniff out explosives.”
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