Landmine-sniffing 'hero' rat awarded gold medal

Meet the latest recipient of a gold medal award for “life-saving bravery”: Magawa.

He's a rat -- a landmine-sniffing rat -- specifically, an African giant pouched rat -- now recognized for his work detecting landmines in Cambodia over the past seven years.

Magawa has sniffed out 39 landmines and 28 unexploded munitions in his career.

Now a British veterinary charity called the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, or PDSA, has honored him with a medal for his quote ' life-saving bravery and devotion to duty.’

The PDSA gives these awards to civilian animals and he’s the first rat to get the prize.

But he's one of many rats raised to sniff out landmines by Tanzanian-based NGO Apopo.

The charity says he’s their most successful ‘HeroRAT’ -- having cleared the land equivalent of 20 football fields.

Cambodia is still littered with landmines after emerging from decades of war.

It has one of the highest numbers of mine amputees per capita in the world, according to PDSA.

Rats, like Magawa, are vital for detecting them. They're faster than metal detectors and too small to trigger an explosion.