"Magawa's dedication, skill and bravery are an extraordinary example of this and deserve the highest possible recognition", said Jan McLoughlin, head of People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, the United Kingdom veterinary charity that awarded the medal.
Trainers then take the rats outside to work in soil trays in different conditions, with the tea eggs buried in the ground. "He can search the area of a tennis court in 30 minutes, something that would take a human with a metal detector up to four days", said PDSA.
Christophe Cox, CEO and cofounder of APOPO told MailOnline: 'We have been training rats like Magawa since 1997 when we started.
Cox said its team of "HeroRATs" speeded up landmine detection due to their keen sense of smell and recall.
In a virtual ceremony on Friday, the United Kingdom charity PDSA gave Magawa its gold medal for his life-saving work.
An undated handout picture released by United Kingdom veterinary charity PDSA September 25, 2020 shows Magawa, an African giant pouched rat wearing his gold medal received from PDSA for his work in detecting landmines in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
He is the first rat in the charity's 77-year history to receive such an award.
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Magawa was trained by a Belgian organization that has taught rats to find landmines for more than 20 years. After training, rats can work for around half an hour every day, but early in the morning.
The PDSA Gold Medal is the animal equivalent of Britain's George Cross. Today, over 60 million people living in 59 countries - from Angola to Cambodia - live in daily fear of landmines and other remnants of past wars.
The rats alert de-miners by scratching the earth.
Apopo's role in Cambodia is vital where up to six million mines were laid between 1975 and 1998 causing 64,000 casualties. "Every discovery he makes reduces the risk of injury or death for local people", PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin, said in a statement.
The PDSA gold medal, one of three awarded by PDSA and the most prestigious animal awards in the world, has been given before to horses, pigeons, dogs and a cat.
As a result, Cambodia has been recording the highest number of mine amputees per capita in the world, with over 40,000 people suffering because of the mines.
'Magawa's work directly saves and changes the lives of men, women and children who are impacted by these landmines. The charity also awards the Dickin Medal, for military animals.