ISTANBUL: Rescuers pulled a dog alive from a collapsed building in southern Turkey 23 days after last month’s 7.8-magnitude deadly earthquake, local media reported on Thursday.
The teams from a local municipality in central Turkey saved Aleks the dog on Wednesday and delivered him to Haytap, a Turkish animal protection association in the city of Antakya.
A video from DHA news agency shows rescuers reaching between two large concrete slabs and calling to the trapped canine.
“Is he coming?” one rescuer was heard saying, crouching inside a small hollow in the debris of the collapsed building.
“Aleks, come, my dear,” one rescuer calls to the dog. “Well done, my son.”
Images then showed the rescuers embracing the dog, who appears to be alert and in good health, and offering him water.
“Every living thing matters to us, human beings or animals,” one local was quoted as saying by the privately-owned DHA agency after the miracle rescue.
Rescue workers have saved hundreds of trapped cats, dogs, rabbits and birds cherished by the locals in Antakya, one of the cities flattened by the disaster.
Haytap has rescued dogs, rabbits, cows and even birds from the rubble in Antakya, after receiving calls from tearful owners or neighbours.
In the organisation’s tent, vets are providing care and treatment for the wounded animals.
Animal rescue stories are a balm for the country, which has been left in shock by the worst natural disaster in Turkey’s post-Ottoman history.
The February 6 earthquake has killed over 45,000 people in Turkey and thousands more in neighbouring Syria and completely devastated hundreds of thousands of buildings.