by Julia Griffin
“Magawa the rat, who was awarded a gold medal for his heroism, is retiring from his job detecting landmines
In a five-year career, the rodent sniffed out 71 landmines and dozens more unexploded items in Cambodia.
But his handler Malen says the seven-year-old African giant pouched rat is ‘slowing down’ as he
reaches old age and she wants to “respect his needs.” …
‘Magawa’s performance has been unbeaten, and I have been proud to work side-by-side with him,’
All hail to MAGAWA, the star of the fields,
Who sniffs out the worst poor Cambodia yields:
The resolute rodent, found second to none,
Whose tally of landmines is seventy-one.
His regular colleague expresses her pride
At working five years with him, side against side;
But now he’s begun to slow down, she concedes,
And hence she’s concerned with respecting his needs.
So let us applaud as his medal’s conferred
(Each throat is constricted, each eye somewhat blurred):
He’s truly a hero, and evidence that
There is a good MAGA: two-thirds of a rat.