Thousands of animals perish among massive ongoing forest fires across Turkey

Videos and images showing people trying to rescue their animals and appealing for help amid the ongoing massive forest fires have broken the hearts of viewers. Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said on July 30 that 3,320 cattles died in the fires, but there is yet no data on the number of killed forest animals.

Duvar English

As Turkey has been battling massive forest fires for the third day, heartbreaking images of animals trying to escape the flames have appeared.

Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli held a press conference on July 30, saying that 320 big cattles and 3,000 small cattles have so far died in the fires, without giving a data on the number of killed forest animals.

Turks are criticizing the authorities for lack of vehicles and planes to extinguish the fires which erupted across 17 provinces.

The municipality of the Marmaris resort town said on July 29 that animals that have been affected by the fires will be treated for free in any of the veterinaries across the district.

“If you find forest animals such as turtle, bird, hedgehog or unattended cat or dog, please take them to the nearest veterinary,” the municipality said on Twitter.

Videos circulating on media outlets showed firefighters applying treatment to animals injured in the wildfires.

In one of the videos, a firefighter was seen applying an ointment on a cat lying on the ground with thermal burn injuries.

Citizens whose farms were burned also shared videos showing their desperation in not being able to rescue their animals and appealing for help.

One of these videos was released by journalist Erk Acarer on Twitter, along with the statement: “One's heart is scattered [while seeing the video].”

The man recording the footage says that he stayed behind in his farm despite the ongoing fires to protect his cattles, although that meant “putting his life in danger.”

He says that there is the imminent threat of another fire coming in the direction of his farm, which has been already burned, and of wiping out all of his animals this time.

One of the images circulating on social media showed thousands of birds in flames while trying to fly in the sky. The image was shared along with the statement, “Birds are flying with flames on their wings.”

Another video showed a farmer trying to direct his cattle away from the fire and move them to a safe area, amid approaching big flames.