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“Caramelo” gives people hope

The flood situation in southern Brazil is still dramatic – many animals are also in distress. Now one of them, the horse “Caramelo”, has become a symbol of hope and even touched President Lula.

The aerial images from a Brazilian news channel touched many Brazilians: they showed a horse stuck on a largely flooded roof. The animal became famous almost overnight and was nicknamed “Caramelo” because of its brown fur.

Now, about 24 hours after the animal was first spotted, a rescue team rescued “Caramelo” from his predicament. The animal had spent several days trying to keep its balance on two narrow strips of asbestos in Canoas. The city is located in the Porto Alegre metropolitan region, which is one of the areas most severely affected by the flood disaster.

“Caramelo” had to endure many hours on the narrow roof.

Elaborate rescue operation

“Caramelo” was weakened, reported Tiago Franco, a firefighter from São Paulo, after the successful rescue operation. “We tried to approach him in a calm way,” Franco explained. Firefighters and veterinarians climbed to the roof, sedated “Caramelo” and placed him on an inflatable boat.

A total of four inflatable boats and four support ships with firefighters, soldiers and other volunteers were involved in the rescue operation. The whole thing was filmed from helicopters and broadcast live on television.

Social media influencer Felipe Neto kept his nearly 17 million followers on Network X up to date with updates during the operation. Afterwards, he offered to adopt the animal. “Caramelo, Brazil loves you!!! My God, what luck,” he wrote.

Great relief in social media

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's wife Janja released a video of the moment she gave her husband the good news. She can be seen whispering in his ear at an official event. Lula smiles, gives her a thumbs up and hugs her. The governor of Rio Grande do Sul also celebrated the rescue. “All lives matter, we remain steadfast,” wrote Eduardo Leite on X.

Meanwhile, “Caramelo” is recovering in a veterinary clinic affiliated with a university. The veterinarian and professor Mariângela Allgayer who works there wrote on social media that the horse was very dehydrated.

Violent for days Floods

The stranded horse is just one of many animals that have been fought to save in recent days. According to official figures, animal rescuers in the state of Rio Grande do Sul saved around 10,000 animals last week, in addition to thousands more that were rescued from difficult situations in communities and by volunteers.

People in southern Brazil have been battling flooding for days as a result of exceptionally heavy rainfall. In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, large areas of land were under water, streets and houses were flooded. 116 people have died as a result of the storm so far.

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