Dozens of felines become a major attraction in Lima, Peru, public park
August 3, 2012
Feral cat colonies are often viewed with disdain in the United States and are often seen as a public health risk, but in Peru's capital city of Lima, a colony has become a bit of a public fascination. According to TheProvince.com, a public park on the outskirts of the upscale Miraflores district has become a gathering spot for cat lovers. Nearly 120 cats live in the park and populate the sidewalks, lie on the grass and climb trees to the delight of onlookers. A group of volunteers has also stepped in to help the cats by providing food and finding ways to sterilize the animals to control their population.
However, not everyone is excited about the prospect of dozens of cats in a public park. A few Lima residents have been known to remove or poison the food of some of the felines, and many don't appreciate the smell of what the felines leave behind. Thankfully, a group of concerned volunteers has stepped in to protect the cats from concerned city dwellers and has begun to do their part to reduce their public health impact.
"Unfortunately, we are in Peru, a place where I think we could use a little more civilization and humanity," Natalie Sanchez, a member of Miraflores' Voluntary Feline Defense Group, told the news source.
Ironically, many of the cats were placed in the park by authorities as a means of controlling the rat population. Eventually, the felines bred and a few strays ended up in the same place, but now the cats have become like a cultural institution. Thanks to the help of volunteers and animal welfare advocates, the cats look to continue to be a fixture in the park for years to come.
"The cats of Miraflores' park are part of Miraflores. They've already been living there for 15 years. You can't call them a scourge or a plague," Sanchez told the news outlet.
Back in the United States, rescue groups are tackling a cat population problem of their own - kitten season! Now is the time of year when animal shelters need people to come in and adopt so they can make room for more felines, so if you've been thinking about becoming a cat parent, now is the ideal time! Consider visiting Bideawee's website for a complete listing of cats up for adoption in your area.