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Mexico's famous search and rescue dogs deployed to help Turkey's earthquake victims

Mexico has sent 16 of its beloved search and rescue dogs, including one of Frida's colleagues from the 2017 Mexico earthquake.

Mexico's famous search and rescue dogs deployed to help Turkey's earthquake victims
Cover Image Source: From Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Relations

 

Mexico has called on its beloved search and rescue dog teams to help fund Turkey's earthquake victims in a moving gesture at the time of crisis. A plane with 16 dogs on board departed from Mexico City on Tuesday. Mexico is prone to earthquakes and has highly specialized civilian and military teams, often deployed to help with disasters. One of the dogs that gained international recognition was the yellow Labrador Retriever named Frida, who was seen wearing protective goggles and boots while searching for survivors in Mexico City. The Mexican Navy credited Frida with saving 12 lives and locating 40 bodies in operations across Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala and Ecuador.



 

 

While Frida passed away last year, at least one of her canine colleagues from the 2017 Mexico quake will be part of the Mexican Navy team traveling to Turkey. Ecko, a Belgian Malinois, was seen at the airport in Mexico City with his navy handler. In addition to the military deployment, the civilian search and rescue group Los Topos de Tlatelolco (The Moles of Tlatelolco) is also on its way. The group of highly experienced volunteers offered their help to which Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard responded that transport had been arranged for them with the help of the Turkish embassy in Mexico City.



 

 



 

Ángel Daniel Hernández, a member of the Red Cross, is also on the plane with his German Shepherd Rex, who has been training for five years. Mexico is not the only country sending dogs to help with the rescue efforts in Turkey and Syria. Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Libya, Poland, Switzerland, the UK and the United States are all also deploying canines with their handlers.



 

 

HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 08: Rescue workers hand over Yigit Cakmak, 8-years-old survivor, to his uncle at the site of a collapsed building 52 hours after the earthquake struck, on February 08, 2023 in Hatay, Turkey. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 08: Rescue workers hand over Yigit Cakmak, 8-years-old survivor, to his uncle at the site of a collapsed building 52 hours after the earthquake struck, on February 08, 2023 in Hatay, Turkey. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

 

These animals are often used to locate people in areas where heavy machinery could further collapse the rubble and put the lives of survivors at risk. The dogs are trained to sniff out humans and alert their handlers when they detect a scent. The Mexican mission is "to save lives" and while the dogs can detect the scent of both living and dead people, the hope is that their quick deployment will result in successful rescues.



 

 

This week has seen tragedy strike Turkey and Syria as five earthquakes have occurred back-to-back since Monday. This has resulted in a devastating 8,364 fatalities and tens of thousands more injured. In Turkey, 5,894 people have been recorded dead and 2,470 in Syria, reported LiveMint. The first earthquake of magnitude 7.8 was centered in the Pazarcik district and could be felt in Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis. Later that day, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the Elbistan district. The shock waves were even felt in Lebanon and Syria. A third quake of magnitude 6.0 occurred in Goksun, Turkey. This was the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in over, 80 years. In response to the disaster, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency in the ten worst-hit provinces for the next three months.

The dogs have become something of a national symbol in Mexico. They are brave and loyal and Mexicans view them as a symbol of hope in times of tragedy. The dogs' arrival in Turkey has already been met with much enthusiasm, with many people expressing their appreciation for the Mexican government's gesture of solidarity. The dogs are expected to remain in Turkey for the next several weeks, aiding in the efforts of recovery and providing comfort to those affected by the disaster. It is a touching reminder that even in times of tragedy, there is still love and compassion to be found. Mexico's beloved search and rescue dogs are a symbol of that compassion and their presence in Turkey is a reminder that we are all in this together.



 

 

This is a developing story, and we’ll update you as we learn more. Information about the earthquake is swiftly changing, and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency of developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.

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