Title: Devastating Heatwave in Greece Takes Toll on Wildlife and Pets
Greece has been grappling with a relentless heatwave, with temperatures soaring up to 40°C (107.5°F), marking the fourth consecutive heatwave in less than a month. As the country battles scorching temperatures and devastating wildfires, its wildlife pays a heavy price.
One heartwarming yet concerning scene unfolded at the Attica Zoological Park in Greece. Tiembe, a 15-year-old Angolan lion, was spotted hesitantly consuming a frozen breakfast due to the extreme heat. These soaring temperatures have forced animals to adapt to ensure their survival.
The plight for Greece’s wildlife further intensified when a fire broke out on the island of Rhodes, raging for 11 consecutive days. This catastrophe forced the evacuation of 20,000 people and claimed the lives of approximately 2,500 animals, including fallow deer, and destroyed 50,000 olive trees. Animals and vegetation alike have suffered greatly under the scorching flames.
In response to the crisis, the zoo located near Athens has been actively accommodating injured animals that were affected by the Rhodes fire, including deer and turtles. Antonis Balas, the zoo curator, emphasized the importance of pet owners being conscientious during extreme heatwaves, particularly for popular breeds originating from cooler climates.
The severe heat and relentless wildfires have also led to the rescue of countless pets. In July alone, Greece witnessed ten major wildfires, resulting in the evacuation and rescue of over 450 dogs and cats. Sadly, many animals were left behind by their owners as they fled the raging fires.
International animal charity PETA has urged animal owners not to abandon their pets amidst the chaos caused by the wildfires. Furthermore, PETA highlighted the role of animal agriculture in contributing to climate change, underscoring the need for urgent action.
Looking ahead, central Greece is bracing itself for temperatures expected to reach a scorching 42°C (107.6°F) before gradually subsiding in the following days. However, the consequences of the heatwaves and wildfires are enduring, emphasizing the urgent need for climate-conscious behavior to protect both wildlife and pets from similar future disasters.
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