Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Canine exiles from Constantinople

Further particulars have been received regarding the condition of the «crowds of dogs» collected from the streets of Constantinople and placed on a neighboring island. In response to protests, it was stated that the dogs were to be killed, but nothing has been done.An account of their terrible ' plight is given in a message from Reuter’s Constantinople representative, -who states:-"In company with a party of English and American friends, I visited the Island of Oxia, in the Sea of Marmora, the place of exile of the dogs. A picture of misery and desolation met our eyes. Dead and dying animals were to be seen everywhere. I saw dogs eating their dead companions. We were soon covered with flies, and were only able to shake them off when we got out to sea again. There were many dogs which still preserved their robust and fit appearance, but the lack of fresh water will doubtless bring those to the same stage as the others. In two respects I noticed an improvement There were some half-dozen men on the island who fed the dogs twice a day, for which purpose bread is imported weekly. The dogs greeted us on landing by wagging their tails and brushing up against us, so if to say, "Take us away from this inhospitable place." Several actually tried to swim behind the dinghy when leaving the island, but soon had to abandon the attempt owing to their weak condition. The men lived in a wooden hut on the elevated part of the island. I was informed by them that there were some 40.000 dogs in the place, though this is evidently an exaggeration. Probably half that number would be nearer the mark and include the total deportation thus far. The death-rate was about 200 a day. An industry has been started on the island by a Frenchman, who skins the dead carcases and boils them for the purpose of extracting the bones, both, skin and bones being exported to Europe. Fresh arrivals at the island now take place once a week only, as the supply is fast diminishing, which is not surprising, seeing that the city has been practically cleared of dogs."

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