Cambodia’s landmine-sniffing ‘hero rat’ retires after five years of service

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  • South China Morning Post published this video item, entitled “Cambodia’s landmine-sniffing ‘hero rat’ retires after five years of service” – below is their description.

    Magawa, the landmine-sniffing “hero rat”, completed his last mission on May 31, 2021 and has retired after five years of service in Cambodia. The African giant pouched rat was awarded by the UK-based veterinary charity, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a gold medal in 2020 for his “life-saving bravery and devotion to duty”. During the span of his career, Magawa detected 71 landmines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance, according to the charity group APOPO, which trains rats and dogs to detect landmines as well as tuberculosis. Cambodia has one of the world’s highest numbers of mine amputees per capita, with more than 40,000 people left disabled from landmines, PDSA said.

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    In This Story: Cambodia

    Cambodia, officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 square miles) in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

    The sovereign state of Cambodia has a population of over 15 million. Buddhism is enshrined in the constitution as the official state religion, and is practised by more than 97% of the population. Cambodia’s minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes.

    The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh. The kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch chosen by the Royal Council of the Throne as head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister.

    Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953. The United Nations designates Cambodia as a least developed country.

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