Spain’s Guardia Civil officers gave food and water to cats wandering the land in the exclusion zone around La Palma’s Cumbre Vieja volcano.
“When we arrived here, we found them crossing the lava. We imagine that they came from that house [pointing to a house nearby] or they came from around here,” officer Francisco Javier Corval told news agency Reuters.
“We have tried to attract their attention with food, they have approached us and we have fed them, and we have given them water,” he said.
The domestic cats were probably left behind after residents had to leave their homes when the volcano erupted. The cats are being checked to see if they have microchips, so they can be reunited with their owners.
Many animals did not survive the volcano’s three-month eruption. Officers discovered the bodies of wild animals and birds in the zone.
“From the first moment, the important thing was the people and the animals they had with them, and since then, we have not stopped,” Corval said. “Checking them [animals], evacuating those who need it, trying to return them to their owners or to animal shelters.”
The Cumbre Vieja volcano began erupting on September 19 and destroyed almost 3000 homes in its three-month eruption. Since last week Monday, no seismic activity has been registered.
Authorities on the island allowed evacuated residents to return to their homes in the exclusion zone to clear their ash-covered houses on Thursday.
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