A German NGO estimates that there are now 50 000 stray cats in Bulgaria’s city of Plovdiv, a number eight times higher than the official statistic of the municipality, Bulgarian National Television reported on February 16.
Given that Plovdiv’s human population is estimated at 380 000, the NGO’s figure would mean that there is one stray cat for every seven people in the city.
The zoo veterinary complex in Plovdiv has developed an intensive capture and sterilisation programme, while there is a proposal to set up a new special shelter in the city, the report said.
There are hundreds of stray cats in every residential area of Plovdiv, most in areas where they can easily find food and shelter.
A team of veterinarians searches for stray cats every day, catching about eight per shift.
Georgi Bozhev, head of the zoo veterinary complex, said that Plovdiv municipality’s efforts were geared to increasing the number of sterilised stray cats “and we are co-operating with the German sterilisation centre very well”.
In four years, the German castration centre in Plovdiv has managed to process 80 per cent of cats in one-tenth of the city, the report said.
Yana Yaneva, co-ordinator at the centre, said that so far it had sterilised just more than 6000 cats that had been caught by the teams.
In 2018, Bulgaria’s Cabinet provided a 0.5 hectare space at the zoo veterinary complex in Plovdiv for a shelter for stray animals, the report said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)