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Magawa, the heroic rat awarded a medal for his work detecting landmines, died at age eight.

Magawa sniffed out more than 100 landmines and other explosives over his five-year career in Cambodia, the BBC reported. He worked to alert his human handlers to landmines so they could be safely removed.

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The Belgian charity that trained Magawa, APOPO, posted a tribute to the animal as they announced his death, saying he had started to slow down and had been napping more after recently celebrating his 8th birthday in November. The charity said Magawa was its most successful rat, and credited his service, saying: “His contribution allows communities in Cambodia to live, work, and play; without fear of losing life or limb.”

In 2020, Magawa was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal for life-saving bravery and devotion to duty by animals. The award is recognized as the George Cross for animals. When Magawa received the award, he was the first rat in the charity’s 77-year history of honoring animals to receive a medal, the PDSA said.

Magawa was an African giant pouched rat, which are often used to identify land mines and other unexploded dangers because they are light enough to not trigger them, and can use their strong sense of smell to detect the danger, The Washington Post reported.