Thunderdrones Are Go! Daring rescue of hot dogs
Drones may be used in a daring aerial rescue attempt to free three very frightened dogs trapped by a volcanic eruption on the Canary island of La Palma.
Spanish officials have permitted a drone operator to try to save the dogs, which are surrounded by molten lava from the eruption that started a month ago.
They have been stranded in an abandoned yard, surviving on food and water dropped to them by small drones. A company that operates much larger drones has now been granted permission to make a rescue attempt.
Jaime Pereira, chief executive of the company Aerocamaras, said he planned to send a 50kg drone with a wide net to trap the dogs one by one and fly them 540m to safety over the lava flow.
“It’s the first time an animal is being rescued with a drone,” Mr Pereira said. “If that’s the last option that the poor dogs have, then we’re going after them.”
No one so far has been able to reach the dogs. Helicopters are banned from the area because hot gases can damage their rotors.
The drone operator will have only four minutes to lure a dog to the net and a further four minutes to fly it out. “What we don’t want is to run out of battery when flying over the lava,” Mr Pereira said. “The key thing is that the dogs need to be enticed to walk into the centre of the net quickly.”