A sizable cat colony has settled its quarter on an island in the Cheradi archipelago in Italy. A census estimates the colony to count over fifty felines.
The San Pietro Island off the coast of Taranto is the largest of the Cheradi archipelago, as named by the historian Thucydides. It houses a naval base, isolated from the noise and outside world.
Recently, a small section of a heliotherapy facility opened to the public. It allowed visitors to enjoy a day at the beach during the summer.
Apart from the Italian Navy, a cat colony has made the island its home. A survey has found the colony to surpass the fifty mark.
The growing feline group has resulted in a few challenges starting from the sanitation of a massive colony far from any veterinary clinic.
A non-profit organization found out about the situation and required immediate intervention.
The Dog and tails association received a report from a group of bathers roaming the island’s coast. Yet, the island’s isolation made it hard for volunteers to reach the place and see the colony for themselves.
Daniela Merico, head of the association, explained in an interview:
“The problem was that we could not get there by swimming. However, we decided to take up this challenge.”
Services collaborate to assist the cat colony
Immediately, Dogs and tails set out to involve all the institutions involved, from the City of Taranto council to the ASL Veterinary Department, from the Navy to the Fire Department,
Fortunately, all these actors were eager to help.
But there was still the issue of how to care for the creatures on an almost uninhabited island: Merico proposed having all procedures, including sterilizations, carried out in a single location.
Two populations of felines were distinguished, and an emergency operating facility was established in the field.
The Navy lent a post guard premises to house the procedure. With the help of the vet clinic, the association could perform surgery on over 20 cats over four days.
Every single cat successfully brought in received a microchip registered with the colony.
Moreover, Mayor Rinaldo Melucci of Taranto, with the help of the stray animal department, was thrilled by the initiative.
In a social media post, he explained that by leaving the cats in their natural home, he could save them the trauma of being uprooted.
The willingness to act of all parties proved that working across institutions is always the most effective strategy.