Volunteers save over 300 animal lives in quake-hit Hatay province, Türkiye
In Hatay, one of the 10 provinces hit hard by the twin quakes, volunteers have saved more than 300 animals trapped under collapsed buildings, besides thousands of human survivors in the disaster region.
Ibrahim Gocer, the senior member of the Paw Protectors Animal Protection Association in the city, told Anadolu that despite having lost many of his relatives in Hatay, he put aside his personal pain and rushed to the aid of earthquake victims, including the animals stuck in the wreckage.
"I'm here with my team. We're doing our best to save any life. I've lost many people, from my relatives to my closest friends, but we have to stand up," Gocer said.
"We need to stay vigorous. These (animals') lives are important, too," he underscored.
Rescuers are bringing the animals they rescue to a shelter in the region where they are cared for and their wounds are treated if they have any.
Ayse Taskiran, who heads the association, said they were working to save the lives of non-human quake victims based on the reports they received on their possible location.
"There is a great struggle, a great loss here. A great loss for all living things. But we still continue to work," she stressed.
Over 35,400 people were killed and more than 81,000 others injured in two powerful earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Feb. 6, according to the country's disaster agency AFAD.