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Go Magawa! October 4, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Nature.

I loved this story from the New York Times:

An African giant pouched rat named Magawa has received an award for bravery for his work detecting land mines in Cambodia.

Magawa has been trained to sniff out TNT and can search an area the size of a tennis court in 30 minutes. By comparison, it would take a person with a metal detector about four days to search an area of that size.

Over the past four years, Magawa has discovered 39 land mines and 28 pieces of unexploded ordnance, and helped clear more than 1.5 million square feet of land.

He is the first rat to receive the award β€” a gold medal bestowed by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a British charity.

For a longer look addressing the problem of land-mines in Cambodia:

Aah . . . I smell a rat, an heroic bomb-sniffing rat!


1. Kate Crimmins - October 4, 2020

That is pretty cool. Most people are very negative about rats but they are smart.

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

Erica’s daughter adopted a rat. Adopting a rat is not on my bucket list, but they are smart and trainable . . . and apparently quite useful when clearing landmines.

Kate Crimmins - October 4, 2020

Most of my landmines are hairballs! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

Squishy bits = ugh!

2. Kellie - October 4, 2020

Oh wow! Great story thanks for sharing 😊

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

Whenever I read a story that makes me smile, I love to share.

3. Val Boyko - October 4, 2020

Smiling – Great share nancy. Its quite remarkable how one rat can help humanity… and another can pull it apart. πŸ˜‰

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

Rats (even super-sized rats, like Magawa) are better than bomb-sniffing dogs since they don’t weigh enough to detonate land mines as they search.

I thought the tiny gold medal was quite the fashion accessory!

4. Ally Bean - October 4, 2020

Not one to love rats in general, but this guy is unique. Weird to think of a rat being helpful.

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

Magawa reminded me of Templeton . . . the gluttonous rat in Charlotte’s Web who saves Wilbur’s life at Charlotte’s insistence.

5. Jill Weatherholt - October 4, 2020

When I recently read about Magawa, I thought of Erica’s daughter. He needs someone to knit him a cape!

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

I thought about Erica’s daughter’s rat too. Maybe we can get L. Marie to knit Magawa a crusader’s cape!

Jill Weatherholt - October 4, 2020

Great idea! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

I wonder if he would look super in blue?

relaxitsallwrite - October 5, 2020

Hi, Jill! I’m Sara, Erica’s daughter. I think that’s sweet you thought of my beloved Marley when you read this post. I never anticipated a rat would bring so much joy to my life!

6. Rivergirl - October 4, 2020

Oh my goodness. I never thought I’d be proud of a rat… but way to go little guy!

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

That’s what I thought.
My 2nd thought: “My . . . what a BIG rat!”

7. anotherday2paradise - October 4, 2020

What an amazing story, Nancy. Magawa deserves a medal. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - October 4, 2020

He does . . . a tiny little gold medal!

anotherday2paradise - October 4, 2020

Cute! πŸ­πŸ…

8. Behind the Story - October 4, 2020

Who would ever have thought of training a rat?! I wonder if he was hard to train.

I just heard about this story this afternoon from my daughter. He’s famous.

nrhatch - October 5, 2020

Rats, I’ve heard, are easy to train because food rewards motivate them to learn “how to get to the end of the maze” quickly.

I’m fond of food rewards too! πŸ˜›

9. Erica/Erika - October 5, 2020

Oh, my, goodness, Nancy. I woke up this morning and saw this post. I double-checked the source and it came from someone reputable…you! πŸ™‚

This information on Magawa is fascinating! Immediately forwarded to Sara and family members. How a spirit in this world, even an heroic bomb-sniffing rat, can make a huge difference on our planet. Thank you for bringing this to my attention! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - October 5, 2020

I thought of you and your daughter when I heard about Magawa’s societal contributions, Erica. So did Jill (see comment #5). He has definitely had a positive impact in communities ~ they feel far freer to “move about the cabin” without fear.

I added a link to your last post about Sara’s escape artist pet. πŸ˜€

Erica/Erika - October 5, 2020

Nancy, I am pleasantly surprised and touched how you would think about Sara and Marley the rat. Lol. I have learned more about rats in the last couple of months than I have know my entire life. Yes, positive impact.πŸ™‚

nrhatch - October 5, 2020

The best thing about blogging (for me) is the cyber connections we create ~ e.g., you share something, it stays with me; I share something, it resonates with you. Winner. Winner.

Have a cool week!

10. relaxitsallwrite - October 5, 2020

Nice to meet you, Nancy! This is Sara, Erica’s daughter. I hadn’t thought about getting a rat until one fell into my lap. I now consider rats to be tiny combinations of cats and dogs…snuggly and sweet, smart and playful. They love belly and chin scratches, playing fetch and peekaboo. It’s nice to see someone else appreciates them for their intelligence and potential! Marley thanks you for the shout-out!

nrhatch - October 5, 2020

We’ve enjoyed Erica’s rat tales about Marley! Glad that he fell into your lap and has been a positive addition to the family!

11. Joanne Sisco - October 6, 2020

This is the 2nd time this morning I’ve been reminded that all creatures, big and small, deserve to be respected. Glad to see this little(ish) guy is getting all the respect he deserves!!

nrhatch - October 6, 2020

Me too! I thought it was a telling tale.

12. L. Marie - October 7, 2020

Oh my word! How amazing! I’ve never been fond of rats. But what a touching story! Almost makes me willing to like rats. (Ha. That probably won’t happen. I grew up in Chicago where rats are plentiful. None of them looked for landmines.)

nrhatch - October 7, 2020

Did you see that Jill and I think someone (i.e., you) should knit a cape for this crusading rat? πŸ˜›

I am a fan of “all” animals . . . but rats have not generally been at the top of that list. Maybe I’ll have to rethink my priorities?

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