An unusual rescue mission is set to take place on Monday - a drive to save the lives of a group of cats on the abandoned Lulu island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
The 50-plus felines were born after just two domestic cats were taken to Lulu by boat and abandoned there by their owners. The man-made 5sqkm island, which is shaped like a miniature Abu Dhabi, is due to be developed, but at present is uninhabited and has no food or running water for the feline family.
They were spotted by Dr Susan Aylott, who went to Lulu with friends for a beach picnic, and she has been organising food to be dropped for them ever since.
Aylott told 7DAYS: “It is beyond callous that somebody abandoned their pets on the island.
“The cats are in a bad state and some of them need medical attention. Some have injuries. One has a fishing hook through its leg. Others have open sores. The cats were not designed to live in the desert and they are now desperate.
“I think some of them are so dehydrated they have been drinking sea water which is bad for their internal organs. It is so dry that the palm trees on the island are dying.” The doctor and a friend have now organised today’s rescue mission that will see the trapped cats taken to the capital’s Falcon Hospital for treatment and to be neutered.
Aylott said: “Municipality pest control services along with volunteers will hand the cats over to the Falcon Hospital.
“Once they have undergone health checks, vaccinations and sterilisation they will be released back to Lulu island. But with the summer coming, they are unlikely to survive. Unless another home is found for them they are likely to experience painful deaths from starvation and dehydration.
“An ideal outcome would be to relocate the colony where they could have access to food and water in a safe and secure environment.” The cats are of mixed breeds - including Arabian Maus and long-haired varieties.