Rescue dog team participates in searching for Taiwan earthquake victims

Video released by the fire department of Hualien district, Taiwan island on April 6 shows rescue dog Roger climbing on a rock amid a landslide blocking a walking trail in Taroko Park. “What did you find? Let’s go over and see,” a rescue worker said to the 8-year-old Labrador dog.


Rescue dog performed feat in Taiwan earthquake

Roger discovered the victim buried under rocks in Taroko Park, Hualien, April 6. Video: AFP

Lee Hsin-hung, Roger’s handler, said the dog located a buried victim just five minutes after departure, and praised Roger’s abilities in unfamiliar terrain. .

Roger is a member of the search and rescue team of Kaohsiung city, which sent forces to assist Hualien district in overcoming the earthquake consequences. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai said Roger was trained to search for people trapped in rubble.

“Roger must have found a clue. His confused expression caught the rescue workers’ attention and they later found the victim,” Mr. Chen wrote in a social media post on April 8. .


Roger before leaving on a search mission on April 6.

As a child, Roger was trained as a drug-sniffing dog, but was transferred to search and rescue duties because of his too friendly personality.

“It’s very aggressive,” Lee said. “This time, when we arrived at the Shakadang trail, which was not the rescue site we had simulated during training, Roger did not show any fear”.

Wilson, 3 years old, another search and rescue dog of the Jack Russell breed, also received many compliments after Taiwanese media reported that he persistently weaved through large rocks and found two victims.

“In tests, it was unremarkable,” said Tseng Ching-lin, Wilson’s coach. “It’s very smart but likes to play and run around a lot”.


Wilson was on duty in Hualien on April 6.

At least 13 people died and more than 1,140 were injured in a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan on April 3. The earthquake’s epicenter was Hualien, a rural area on the east side of the island.

Landslides covered the tunnel entrance, cutting off traffic routes, making it difficult for rescuers to reach survivors and victims. At least 6 people are still missing. The authorities are repairing the road, clearing dirt and rocks to open the tunnel entrance.


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