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BBC Pidgin of Tuesday, 8 June 2021


Magawa: African giant hero rat retire from landmine detection job afta five years career

Magawa, giant rat wey dey detect land mines Magawa, giant rat wey dey detect land mines

One big African giant rat wey collect gold medal award sake of im heroism don retire from for im work to dey detect land mines.

For inside im five year career, Magawa di rat smell 71 landmines and dozens of items wey neva explode for Cambodia.

But im manager, Malen say di seven year old African giant rat don dey slow down as e don reach old age and she wan respect im needs.

About six million landmines na im sabi pipo reason say fit dey di South East Asian kontri.

Belgium-registered charity Apopo wey dey based for Tanzania na dem train Magawa and dem don dey train animals wey dem call – HeroRATS- to detect landmines since 1990s. Di animals dey collect certificate afta one year of training.

Last week, Apopo say di Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) don assess one new batch of young rats and dem pass "wit flying colours".

Di group say Magawa go work for few more weeks to “mentor” di new recruits and help dem settle down.

“Nobody don beat Magawa record, and I dey proud to work side by side wit am,”

"E dey small, but e don help save many lives and e allow return safe land wey we need well-well to our pipo as quickly and cost-effectively as possible." Malen tok.

Last September, Magawa get di PDSA Gold Medal award – wey dem sometimes dey describe as di George Cross for animals - for im "life-saving devotion to duty". Na im be di first rat to collect di medal for di charity 77-year history.

Magawa weigh 1.2kg (2.6lb) and e dey 70cm (28in) long. Even though e still big pass many oda rat species, Magawa still small and e dey light enough and no dey trigger mines if e dey waka on top of dem.

Di rats dey trained to discover chemical compound within di explosives, e mean say dem fit ignore scrap metal and fit quick-quick search for mines. Once dem see explosive, dem go scratch di top to alert their human co-workers.

Magawa fit search field wey be di size of a tennis court in just 20 minutes - something Apopo say go take person wey get metal detector between one and four days.

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