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Brazilian horse ‘Caramelo’ rescued from roof after being trapped by floods



Southern Brazil has been devastated by the worst flooding in 80 years, resulting in more than 100 deaths and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. However, a rare moment of hope emerged when firefighters rescued a horse stranded on a rooftop in Canoas, a city in the Porto Alegre metropolitan area, in southern Rio Grande do Sul state. The horse, nicknamed Caramelo, was found balancing on two narrow strips of slippery asbestos, weighing 349kg (770 pounds). The rescue operation, led by Captain Tiago Franco from Sao Paulo, involved sedating the animal and laying him on an inflatable raft before taking him to safety.

Social media influencer Felipe Neto, with almost 17 million followers, provided updates on the rescue of Caramelo, expressing his joy and offering to adopt the horse. Caramelo, believed to be seven years old, is now recovering at a veterinary hospital affiliated with a university. Veterinarians have noted that he arrived extremely dehydrated but is now stable. The successful operation to rescue Caramelo was described as challenging but ultimately successful, with agencies in Rio Grande do Sul rescuing about 10,000 animals since the recent flooding began.

Amidst the ongoing rescue efforts, authorities in southern Brazil are bracing for the arrival of new storms that are forecast to bring more devastation to the region. With approximately 400 municipalities affected by the floods, many residents are suffering without access to basic necessities such as water and electricity. Rescue teams are working tirelessly to reach those trapped in their homes or reluctant to evacuate due to fears of looting. The Guaiba river in Porto Alegre has reached historic levels, and officials are monitoring five dams at risk of rupture.

Despite the challenges brought by the recent flooding, the focus remains on rescue operations and delivering humanitarian aid to those in need. Sabrina Ribas, a spokeswoman for the civil defence force handling disaster relief, emphasized the importance of providing assistance to flood-stricken communities in a timely manner. While the full extent of the damage caused by the flooding is yet to be determined, local media estimates suggest that thousands of animals have perished or gone missing as a result of the disaster. Volunteers and municipal agencies have been working together to save as many animals as possible during this crisis.

In conclusion, the rescue of Caramelo the horse has served as a symbol of hope in a region struggling to recover from the devastating floods in southern Brazil. The heroic efforts of firefighters and veterinarians, combined with the support of social media influencers and volunteers, have highlighted the resilience and compassion of the community in the face of adversity. While the challenges posed by ongoing storms and the aftermath of the flooding are significant, the commitment to delivering aid and rescue to those in need remains unwavering. As the recovery process continues, the spirit of solidarity and cooperation will play a vital role in rebuilding and healing the affected communities in southern Brazil.

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