More Than 3 Weeks After Quake, an 'Unexpected Groan'

Alex the husky is pulled out of rubble in Turkey's Hatay province, emaciated but otherwise OK
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2023 9:02 AM CST
More Than 3 Weeks After Quake, a Surprise Survivor
A different husky who's probably not nearly as happy as Alex right now.   (Getty Images/Mary Swift)

After a series of miraculous rescues, teams digging through the rubble in the aftermath of last month's earthquake in Turkey and Syria had more or less given up on finding any more survivors. That is, until Tuesday, when an "unexpected groan" emitted from underneath a concrete block pile near Antakya, in the Turkish province of Hatay, per Al-Monitor. That groan came from Alex, a "young-looking" husky pulled to safety by rescuers more than three weeks after the quake that's killed more than 50,000. WION notes it took an hour and a half to rescue Alex from the rubble. In a video circulating online, voices can be heard calling Alex's name before he's brought to safety; once yanked out of the space where he was trapped, he remains calm as he's held by various rescuers.

A local tells the DHA news agency that aid teams heard Alex only because they'd been in the area looking for sites to set up temporary shelters for those who'd been displaced by the quake, per Al-Monitor. Alex isn't the only lucky pet to see the light of day again: France 24 reports that Turkey's Animal Rights Federation, aka HAYTAP, has rescued nearly 1,000 dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and even cows in the temblor's aftermath. Meanwhile, a more recent video shows Alex after his own rescue, apparently after he'd been cleaned up and fed, happily accepting the attention and affection of a HAYTAP worker at a veterinary field hospital. A volunteer with the group tells the Anadolu news agency that Alex did lose a significant amount of weight during his ordeal, but is otherwise in good condition. (More Turkey-Syria earthquake stories.)

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