The dog’s odyssey began in mid-December 2021 when the container she was in left Algeciras in southern Spain. She was discovered, starving and dehydrated, more than a month later by workers.
She spent forty days in an empty container, without water or food, including twenty crossing the Atlantic between Spain and Panama: the dog Mili, a real miracle, now works at the international airport of Panama City to detect prohibited foods.
A container considered empty
The dog’s odyssey began in mid-December 2021 when the container she was in left Algeciras in southern Spain. Twenty days later, the container was unloaded at the port terminal in Colon, Panama.
Considered empty, it was then stored outside, at the mercy of the heat and bad weather. Until workers opened the seals twenty days later and discovered the little dog aged about one year, hungry and dehydrated.
” We don’t know how she was able to enter (the container) and how she was not detected (…) This is the story of a heroine. Because an animal trapped in a container for forty days, without water, without food, how could it fight to survive? asks Cecilia de Escobar, National Director of Animal Health at the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA).
” The container was corroded in one area, and it was discovered that there was a small hole there. We assumed that she had opened a small hole with her paw through which she absorbed rainwater “, explains the manager.
She gained eight kilos
The little dog with the caramel coat weighed only 4 kg when she was discovered. She was then taken to Panama City and treated by MIDA vets.
Hugo Turillazzi, one of them, believes that the dog was in good physical condition before her departure and that she was able to survive thanks to her body reserves, rainwater, drops of condensation that formed inside the container and to his own urine.
” It’s a miracle that this little animal was able to survive, that’s why we named it ‘Milagros’ (miracle in Spanish), his nickname is Mili “Explains the practitioner who indicates that the dog now weighs 12.2 kg and is doing wonderfully.
“A scanner that does not cost much”
Five months after her discovery, Mili is now part of the canine squad that operates at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. She started working a week ago with the task of detecting fresh foodstuffs in the luggage of travelers which are prohibited from entering the country because they are likely to transmit diseases to local cultures.
” Mili fulfills the four basic characteristics that a dog must have to join the brigade: friendly, docile with people, playful and with a good appetite. “, explains Edgardo Aguirre, his trainer.
The dog, who nimbly weaves between the suitcases to detect any suspicious odor, has already spotted in a week a suitcase containing seeds, fruit and cold cuts. ” It’s an inexpensive scanner. adds veterinarian Turillazzi. ” Just food and the tenderness we bring to her “.