For many, retirement is a happy occasion. People who work most of their lives look forward to enjoying their retirement comfortably and calmly. This fact is not just applicable to humans but also to animals. In this technological era, we still use animals for some jobs. Dogs are trained in the police and armies to catch criminals and drugs, and some animals are working in circuses most of their lives. So, we must treat those animal workers as same as how we treat human workers and allow them to retire in their old days.
In this article, we will talk about a hardworking rat named Magawa who got to enjoy his golden days after working so hard for many years. Magawa was born in Tanzania in 2014, and his main job for five years was to sniff and find out land mines and other remnants of war in Cambodia. He is also known as HeroRAT. Because without him, countless human lives would have been lost due to unfound landmines.
The reason for joining this particular rat for such a dangerous job is his sense of smell. Magawa had a fantastic sense of smell from birth. During his days in his home country, Tanzania, he honed those skills and practical lessons on how to mark mines. Since rats are too light, they would not trigger the mines, which also came in handy in Magawa’s job. With all those skills, Magawa would find the mines and lightly scratch atop them to inform their handler of the discovery.
Magawa is genuinely a competent worker. He is a full-time worker at APOPO, a non-profit organization that trains animals to detect landmines and tuberculosis. During his time as a mine-clearing rodent, Magawa managed to find 71 landmines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance. It earned him the title of HeroRAT and made him one of the most successful rodents in APOPO.
Apart from that, UK charity PDSA awarded Magawa a gold medal in 2020 for his outstanding skills and bravery. In their history of 77 years, it is the first time PDSA presented such a great honor to a rat. It needs no other proof to show how capable and skilled this little rodent is doing his tasks.
According to APOPO, Magawa is in good health, and he can continue his work. But since he has reached retirement age, the work efficiency has dropped slightly, so his caretakers thought it was time for the rodent to leave the job. Magawa retired at the end of June 2021, saying goodbye to his career. Let’s hope he will enjoy his retirement very happily and comfortably.