A mysterious group that calls itself the “A Team” has claimed responsibility today for rescuing the dogs that had been left trapped by the lava from the new volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma, and that were due to be rescued by a Spanish company using drones. That’s according to a message that was left at the site on a white sheet in red lettering, that stated: “Be strong La Palma, the dogs are fine.” Aerocámaras, the Galician drone firm that had traveled to the island to attempt to airlift the hunting dogs out of the area, is preparing to leave the site. Its drone flights had already confirmed that the dogs were no longer visible in recent days and it detected signs of human activity around the water deposits where the dogs were first located earlier this month.
“By yesterday we couldn’t see anything,” said Jaime Pereira, the CEO of Aerocámaras, on Thursday. “But we wanted to be sure. We have been checking the images today and we have confirmed with the authorities that there are tracks where the dogs were, so we know that they have been there,” he continued. “There is a video of the sign that was taken several days ago,” he said, leading the company to deduce that the dogs may have been rescued some time ago.
If people have in fact traveled to the area to collect the dogs, whose owners have still not come forward, they would have been violating the exclusion zone established by the authorities in the areas affected by the volcano, which began to erupt on September 19 and has since destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings. In fact, the only way to get to the water deposit where the dogs were located is to walk over some of the recent lava flows that surround it.
A video apparently showing the sign left by the “A Team” at the site where the dogs were located.
A source from the local media outlet that published the video, Palmerus.es, told EL PAÍS by phone that the animals are now fine and that “no one would risk their lives for the dogs only to then mistreat them later.” For now, the source continued, it will be difficult for someone to clarify how it happened given that “it was illegal” to enter the exclusion zone.
Presumably, the recording was sent to them given their knowledge of the protagonists. “The video began to circulate and they gave it to us,” the source said. Despite believing that they are doing well, the source was unable to confirm the current state nor location of the animals. “The people we have been able to contact have confirmed to us that they are fine,” the source added. All of the information they have, they insisted, is in the article they published on their website.
In the videos that Aerocámaras have shared there are deformations on the ash that could be human tracks, and the sign left behind by the supposed rescuers is also visible in the recording. The sheet, which was held down with stones, had later flipped over due to the wind.
News of this unofficial rescue came a day after Aerocámaras flew a drone over the area in an attempt to locate the dogs, which had not been seen for several days. While the test carried out on Wednesday was described as “very successful,” the CEO of the Galician company admitted that they had not been able to find the animals.