Why does Cambodia mourn a mouse that has just died?

According to the international non-profit organization APOPO, Magawa passed away over the weekend, at the age of 8, in the mourning of members of the organization and local people.

A few days before his death, the Cambodian rat was still very healthy, still playing, but by the end of the week he became weaker, slept more and was no longer interested in food until the last day - the announcement from APOPO said.

'All of us at APOPO mourn Magawa and are very grateful for what he brought to life while he was alive. Thanks to Magawa's contributions, communities in Cambodia can live, work and play in safety," also according to APOPO.

Picture 1 of Why does Cambodia mourn a mouse that has just died?
The mouse was awarded a gold medal for his bravery and dedication.

The reason why the death of a mouse attracts attention is because Magawa is not an ordinary mouse. It has excellent mine-sniffing ability.

The Belgium-based APOPO organization specializes in training these large African-like mice to detect landmines, reducing the danger for those dealing with the aftermath of war.

This job is extremely dangerous, typically earlier this week, three Cambodians working as minesweepers died.

After decades of civil war, Cambodia is one of the countries suffering heavy consequences of landmines with more than 1,000 square kilometers of land and landmines scattered about.

While still alive, Magawa sniffed more than 100 mines and explosives in Cambodia, was the first mouse to be awarded a gold medal by a British organization for 'brave and dedication to the mission'.

Magawa was born in Tanzania and has been sent to Siem Reap (Cambodia) since 2016 for training and duty.