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Bomb-detecting rat wins medal for bravery

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Bravery - Level 4

A rat got an award for bravery. The brave rodent is called Magawa. He got a gold medal for his seven years of sniffing out landmines in Cambodia. He was given the award by an animal charity. It explained why Magawa was recognised for his courage. It wrote: "[We] seek to honour the incredible contribution [animals] make to our lives. Magawa's dedication, skill and bravery are an extraordinary example of this and deserve the highest possible recognition."

Rats are the creatures best suited to safely detect landmines. They are light and can smell well. In his seven years of work, Magawa found 39 landmines and 28 unexploded devices. He helped to clear an area the size of 20 soccer pitches. He is the most successful rat in the history of landmine detection. The charity said: "This is the very first time in our 77-year history of honouring animals that we have presented a medal to a rat."

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Bravery - Level 5

A rat got an award for bravery for his services to humanity. The brave rodent is called Magawa. He got a gold medal for his seven years of duty sniffing out landmines in Cambodia. He was given the award by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals charity. This is a charity based in the UK. It explained why Magawa was recognised for his courage. It wrote: "The PDSA...seeks to raise the status of animals...and honour the incredible contribution they make to our lives. Magawa's dedication, skill and bravery are an extraordinary example of this and deserve the highest possible recognition."

Magawa is an African Giant Pouched Rat. Rats are the creatures best suited to safely detect landmines. They are light and have a good sense of smell. In his seven years on the front line, Magawa helped to find 39 landmines and 28 unexploded devices. He helped to clear an area roughly the size of 20 soccer pitches. He is the most successful rodent in the history of landmine detection. The charity said: "This is the very first time in our 77-year history of honouring animals that we have presented a medal to a rat." Reporters tried to interview Magawa but he was unavailable.

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11 online activities    |    8-page printable   (PDF)

Bravery - Level 6

A rat has been given a distinguished award for bravery for his services to humanity. The valiant rodent is called Magawa. He was awarded a gold medal for his seven years of duty sniffing out dozens of landmines in Cambodia. He was bestowed the award by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals charity. This is a veterinary charity based in the United Kingdom. The charity explained why Magawa was recognised for his courage. It wrote: "The PDSA...seeks to raise the status of animals in society and honour the incredible contribution they make to our lives. Magawa's dedication, skill and bravery are an extraordinary example of this and deserve the highest possible recognition."

Magawa is an African Giant Pouched Rat. He was used in the mine-clearing programme because rats are the creatures best suited to safely detect landmines. They are light and have a keen sense of smell. In his seven-year stint on the front line, Magawa helped to detect 39 landmines and 28 unexploded devices. He helped to clear more than 141,000 square meters of land - an area roughly the size of 20 soccer pitches. This makes him the most successful rodent in the history of landmine detection. The charity's chairman said: "This is the very first time in our 77-year history of honouring animals that we have presented a medal to a rat." Reporters tried to interview Magawa but he was unavailable for comment.

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25 online activities    |    27-page printable    |    2-page mini-lesson



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