Volunteers mobilize to save animals from forest fire areas in Türkiye

Members of a central Ankara-based charity organization are actively trying to save and preserve wild and domestic animals rescued from the midst of wildfires in affected areas across several Turkish provinces.

With a team of 18 volunteers, the "Paw Guards" association has been conducting search-and-rescue operations in fire-stricken regions of Çanakkale, Manisa and Antalya.

Their latest destination was the forest fire in Antalya's Kemer district, where the group has been identifying injured animals and providing them with necessary medical attention.

They have transformed a small vehicle into a makeshift clinic to treat the animals, carefully tending to their wounds and providing them with water to help them stay alive.

Faruk Açık, a member of the association speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), noted that while people can escape from forest fires, many animals cannot, which unfortunately leads to numerous casualties.

"We are treating those we find injured. We are exhausted, but we will continue to work day and night to help the injured animals," Açık said.

Veterinary technician Ahmet Aydoğdu mentioned that some of the injured animals they find in affected areas are sent to clinics in Ankara for further treatment.

He expressed grief as they witnessed the loss of many wild animals due to fires, and stated that they thoroughly scanned the areas for injured animals after fires were doused.

"One of the animals we are currently treating, a young cat, was found with burns on its paws, while a turtle had burns on its lower part. Thankfully, both are in stable conditions," Aydoğdu noted.

The wildfire that engulfed approximately 180 hectares of forests in Antalya's popular touristic district of Kemer has continued to rage since late Monday evening. According to the latest reports by AA, the fire is being dealt with help assistance from 10 planes, 27 helicopters, 73 water sprinklers, seven construction equipment vehicles and some 654 personnel.