‘El Guano’ receives the first cats from the feral colonies of Zaragoza

Transfer of cats from urban colonies to El Guano.
MIGUEL G. GARCÍA / AYTO. FROM ZARAGOZA

The Zaragoza City Council has successfully completed the trasfer of the cats that populated the ancient warehouses of Pignatelli Y the Roman Theater, except for four felines that are still in these two locations and that will be captured in the next few days. Total, 55 cats from the Pignatelli and eleven from the Roman Theater They are already in the new space set up by the council to host feline colonies, known as El Guano, where they have an adaptation area, booths to protect themselves from bad weather and scratching posts to promote their well-being. In total, 5,000 square meters of surface in a natural environment, with low vegetation and away from road traffic.

The Minister of Participation and Relations with Citizens, Javier Rodrigo, visited the facilities this Monday, once the transfer of the colonies was completed, which, as he recalled, has been carried out with all the guarantees, following a protocol supervised by specialist veterinarians. Accompanied by one of the caputers of the CES project (Capture, Sterilization and Release), thanked the dedication of the thirty volunteers who have actively participated in the rescue of the cats that, due to an act of vandalism, left El Guano.

Total, 15 of the 30 escaped cats have recovered, thanks to the work of the volunteers who, even with night vision goggles, have tracked the area at night to return them to the site. The captured animals have received veterinary attention at the Municipal Animal Protection Center and have been dewormed, vaccinated and sterilized before being transferred to El Guano. In addition, between the captures, the cages have been disinfected to avoid diseases. This has been indicated by the veterinarian of the Municipal Animal Protection Center (CMPA), María Jesús Ramírez, who has pointed out that this space is suitable for felines, because it has a lot of low vegetation, such as bushes, which allows felines to camouflage themselves and perform their natural behaviors, such as “hunting and scratching.” “The first thing we did as veterinarians was to inspect the area. We liked it a lot because it has trees and many plants ”, he affirmed.

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Adaptation

Of the installation, the adaptation zone has also stood out, since the felines need to know the terrain before being released, otherwise they tend to escape. For her part, CES catcher Marta Pintanel, who deals with the rescues and sterilizations of feral cats, has highlighted the effort of the volunteers who with great dedication have conditioned the enclosure, have made a technical file of each feline and they have searched for lost cats during their free time hours. “We want the best for cats and we have tried hard, we go up to three times a day and spend the night here since the act of vandalism”, has highlighted.

Requests to remove feline colonies arrive daily at the Animal Protection Office, but only those that are duly justified for reasons of public health, for risk to the life of the animals or for conservation of historical heritage are attended in compliance with the municipal ordinance. . The transfer of the feline colony of Pignatelli and the Roman Theater is adjusted to these conditions, hence the Participation Area decided to carry it out to safeguard the life of the animals and the historical heritage of the city. To do this, the city council set up the El Guano enclosure, which has an area of ​​5,000 square meters and five relocation cages of 9×2 meters with capacity to accommodate twelve cats.

These cages are used to facilitate the adaptation of animals to the new space, since if they were released freely in the enclosure they would tend to escape. Once the adaptation period of approximately fifteen days is over, they are left free in the enclosure where they have all the necessary resources for their survival, including some wooden huts and transporters so that they can protect themselves from bad weather, hoppers with water, food, sand and scrapers. In addition, they have been placed six glass containers that have been given a second life as feeding and shelter points for cats. These containers, located in the shady and sunny areas, have two entrances, a cat flap for the animals and a door for their keepers.

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Likewise, ten trees have been planted to offer more shade areas for scratching and resting points. In addition, the El Guano enclosure also has a favorable report from the Official College of Veterinarians of Zaragoza, which indicates that “environmentally it is very suitable”, since the low vegetation and the bushes favor the privacy of the animals, while emphasizing that the “tranquility of the area and the exclusivity of its use as a feline shelter guarantees the physical integrity of the animals.” On the other hand, Rodrigo recalled that the transfer of the feline colony of the Roman Theater fulfills a request from the Provincial Commission of the Heritage of the Government of Aragon and follows the recommendation of the Justice of Aragon.

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