Hundreds of pet cats abandoned on deserted Brazilian island amid pandemic
- Hundreds of cats were abandoned on Ilha Furtada
- Many cats are left without food and water
- Over 16.8 million people have been infected with coronavirus in Brazil
On an island off the eastern coast of Brazil, which belongs to the Costa Verde region in Rio de Janeiro, hundreds of cats were abandoned. The island is also known as Ilha dos Gatos: Island of the Cats.
According to regional historians, a family tried to settle on the island in the late 1940s. But due to certain logistical issues, the family left the place shortly afterward.
As they were not able to adapt to the changes, they returned to live in Rio. But the cats they carried with them stayed, trapped in the middle of the sea, having nowhere to go.
Over the years, what was originally a small family of cats multiplied at full speed. But what caught the attention of those who periodically passed the island was the behavior and size of the cats which was much wilder and larger than those usually know as docile pets.
More than 16.8 million people have been infected with coronavirus in Brazil with over 470,000 deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Most Brazilians no longer can take care of the cats, they would either drop the cats off on the island or pay a boat worker to do it, according to The Post.
Once the deadly spread of COVID-19 forced people to stay inside, the cats' existence on the island worsened. In October, the Associated Press reported many cats were left without food and water, resulting in kidney problems among other medical concerns.
Also read: Brazil's COVID-19 deaths breach 500,000 mark
Andrea Rizzi Cafasso, the director of a shelter near the island told The Post, people would threaten to take their cats to the island if there was no room for them at the shelter.
Numerous volunteer groups began installing food and water dispensers to help sustain the felines, but there's still no permanent solution for the situation till now as more cats get dropped off at the island and people are still undeterred by anti-dumping rules.