Born in Tanzania in 2014, Magawa has since age 2 enjoyed a highly successful career detecting land mines in Cambodia. So far, he’s found 39 land mines and 28 items of unexploded ordnance, according to Apopo, a global nonprofit started in Belgium that breeds and trains rats for humanitarian work such as sniffing out land mines and tuberculosis.
Magawa’s impressive record makes him Apopo’s most successful working rat, or “HeroRat,” to date. It also makes him the first rat in UK animal charity PDSA’s 77-year history of honoring critters to win a coveted PDSA Gold Medal. Other animals to receive the award have included dogs, horses, a pigeon