Thursday, May 23, 2024

Frida, Mexico’s beloved rescue dog, dies at 13 years old

Frida, a search-and-rescue Labrador famous for locating victims after an earthquake devastated Mexico City in 2017, died of natural causes, the Ministry of the Navy (Semar) reported on Tuesday on Twitter.

“Dear Frida, although we are hurt by your departure, the Naval Family promises today to honor your memory, acting under the legacy that you taught us: ‘kindness, loyalty and love.’ Thank you for serving Mexico, you will always live in our hearts,” the Semar statement said.

Minister of the Navy Rafael Ojeda also lamented her passing on the social media platform, thanking her for her “tireless work” and recognizing her role as a beacon of hope “to thousands of Mexican families in the most pressing moments.”

The Ministry of the Navy announced Frida’s passing on its Twitter page on Tuesday.

 

Known for her custom-made doggy goggles and neoprene boots, Frida was born on April 12, 2009, and started her training just a few days afterward. Thanks to her extraordinary skills, she finished her training in a record eight months, the Navy said.

Her first rescue work actually didn’t occur in Mexico: after the 2010 earthquake in Haití, she found 12 people alive amidst debris. She then helped in rescue work to locate civilian personnel trapped under rubble after the Pemex Tower in Mexico City exploded in 2013 due to a gas leak.

In 2017, she joined another international relief brigade in Ecuador to help locate trapped people after a landslide, just before the Sept. 19 earthquake hit Mexico City and she became a global icon and national hero.

After nine years of work, she retired on June 24, 2019. As a token of appreciation, she received a toy.

In October, a life-size bronze statue in Frida’s honor was unveiled outside of the Navy’s office in the Mexico City borough of Coyoacán. Depicted with her googles and boots, the statue reads: “Your life motivates us to continue giving everything to serve Mexico. Thank you, dear Frida!”

Throughout her life, Frida was deployed to 53 rescue operations in Mexico, Haiti, Ecuador, and Guatemala, and found a total of 55 people – 43 dead and 12 alive.

With reports from Reuters and Milenio

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