Late again, but here’s an interesting good news story with a twist–not a person but a rat doing good things, with the aid of human handlers. As most of you know, with all the conflicts around the world over the last century, a dangerous thing left behind is land mines. In this case, it’s Cambodia from the war in Vietnam and/or conflicts within the country itself during other years some decades ago.
From NPR (and many other news outlets that have picked up the story) comes this report:
A heroic rat named Magawa has been working for five years in Cambodia, sniffing out dozens of land mines. He is believed to have saved lives.
Now, the animal is about to embark on a well-deserved retirement.
“Although still in good health, he has reached a retirement age and is clearly starting to slow down,” the nonprofit APOPO said Thursday. “It is time.”
According to the report, “Even among his skilled cohorts working in Cambodia, Magawa is a standout sniffer: In four years he has helped to clear more than 2.4 million square feet of land. In the process, he has found 71 land mines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance.” For that success, he won and award. Now he can retire and enjoy a life of food and play.
Because of their light weight, the rats don’t trigger the mines–which works out well for parties concerned.