The CEO of the Aerocamaras company, Jaime Pereira, described as “very successful” the first test to rescue the dogs trapped by the lava from the La Palma volcano. The company has already received authorization to carry out a reconnaissance flight in the area, granted by the authorities, whose absolute priority, they emphasize, is the protection of people. Between four and six dogs are trapped in an area that the lava has not been able to reach in Los Llanos de Aridane (La Palma). So far, they have been fed and watered by smaller drones owned by two local companies. It is unknown who the owners of the dogs are.
The rescue has been shown to be “viable”, explained the company spokesman in the town of Las Manchas, because the device, prepared specifically for this mission, has traveled a distance of 1,200 meters with a load of 15.5 kilograms and still 35% battery is left over. “We are going to be there all day,” explained Pereira. “If they let us fly at night, we will stay at night so that the thermal cameras give us a lot more information, because now the temperature is very high.”
These high temperatures have contributed to the fact that today there has been no trace of the dogs. Pereira has confirmed to the media that so far they have only detected two rabbits hidden under the bushes, but he understands that the animals can be “anywhere” because it is very hot in the area. “Surely they are hidden somewhere or something and will come out when the temperature drops,” explained Ricardo Hernández, a member of the Comprehensive Animal Service of the Canary Islands. “They are not going to move, especially so as not to exhaust reserves.” Hernández maintains that “they are very tough dogs.” “I have found dogs after being lost for 30 days and when you see them you ask yourself: But how do you stay up?” The vet has assured that “there are swimming pools in the area”, so “they do not lack water. And as long as they don’t lack water, they last 30, 40 and 50 days ”.
The rescue team claims to have “carefully planned” the operation: the drones will begin by delivering food and drink to the dogs, which will allow operators to inspect with a 30x camera and another thermographic the location where they will perform the extraction while they habituate to the animals to noise and the presence of the device.
In the second step, that of the execution of the process, Aerocamaras will use a cargo drone equipped with its own logistics system adapted to the characteristics of the animals, together with another support aircraft, with which the pilot in charge of the operation can plan the rescue flight. Food will be used as bait and, when one of the animals is on the loading system, they will lift it to extract it on the washes. The evacuation process will be individual.
“Yesterday we did a manual test,” Hernández recalled. “The dog’s head fits perfectly in the net. It goes in and out, so it doesn’t hurt you. We hope because of the dimensions of the net, that the animal is suspended over its body and with its limbs loose so that the least possible damage is done ”.
Sources from the animal organization Leales.org have recalled today that the alert about the presence of animals trapped by lava began on October 7, after a drone of German scientists detected the presence in a pond of what was initially thought it was a cat. Pereira has denied that they have contacted the owners of the dogs.
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