Joris Fioriti With helmets and flashlights, the rescuers enter a collapsed house in the earthquake-hit Turkish city of Antakya. Their objective: to rescue Asghar and Nouma, two bulls trapped under rubble.
Rescue workers have saved hundreds of trapped cats, dogs, rabbits and birds cherished by the people of the ancient city devastated by last week's 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
Efforts have focused on saving people but also rescuing animals.
The quake has killed nearly 45,000 people in southeastern Turkey and nearby Syria and completely devastated some 75,000 buildings including Nazli Yenocak's home.
Yenocak considers herself one of the lucky ones. Her family is unharmed, although the six of them now live in a tent in the middle of the garden.
But Yenocak is distressed. Her normally noisy bulls hardly make any sound.
"To hear them so quiet, it makes me cry," she said.
For 11 days, Yenocak fed them through a basement window. She then contacted rescuers at Haytap, a Turkish animal protection association for help to save them.
Hours later, they got her bulls out with the help of German and Austrian volunteers.
Haytap has rescued 900 cats, dogs, rabbits, cows and even birds from the rubble in Antakya after receiving calls from tearful owners or neighbours.
There is relief at a volunteer camp where each rescued animal is treated like a rock star, filmed by several with mobile phones and welcomed with applause.
Volunteers treat five chow-chow dogs first then take them to a shelter away from the debris. The next day, a husky with bright blue eyes and several other puppies bring some cheer with their high-pitched barks.
In Haytap's tent where vets provide care, a litter of kittens sleep soundly, at times bottle-fed by volunteers.
Sometimes the only signs of life in Antakya among the rubble are animals: a dog dozing near a destroyed sofa, a cat grooming itself in a shattered kitchen.
One man saved from the rubble two days after the quake who became a rescuer takes care of a black kitten, found near a collapsed building. "His owner fled. He stayed here. So we feed him."
A few streets away, a large dog stirs and barks towards the first floor of a ruined building.
"He could come down but he stays out of loyalty to his owners," said Efe Subasi, 27, a Haytap volunteer who came after a neighbour informed him of the situation.
Animal rescue stories are a balm for the country, left in shock by the worst natural disaster in Turkey's post-Ottoman history.
One cat in Gaziantep named "Enkaz" (rubble in Turkish) has become an online hero after images showed the animal refusing to leave his rescuer's side.
Stuck under debris, cats and dogs are able to crawl to food or a fridge, giving them enough nourishment to survive longer, said Mehti Fidan, head of Istanbul's veterinary unit which has treated 300 animals in Antakya.
"But when they come to us, the cats have dilated pupils. The dogs refuse to be approached. They are traumatised, just like humans," he said.
Sometimes their presence can frustrate rescue teams. Thermal scanners cannot differentiate between animals or humans' temperature.
"After several hours, we found a cat, which once free, ran away without even a 'miaow' for us," said one foreign rescuer who did not wish to be named.
Nine days after the quake however, rescuers found a baby alive in Antakya thanks to a neighbour searching for a cat, CNN Turk channel reported.
For Erol Donmezer, he is worried as he still hasn't found his son's cat.
"They just amputated my son's two legs," Donmezer said. "After the operation, he said to me, 'Dad, all I want is for you to bring my cat back'."
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