Feature: Pet carnival in Egypt helps raise awareness about animal care

Sunday, 2019-12-08 15:01:21
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A parrot is seen during a pet carnival in Cairo, Egypt, on December 6, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Held at the garden of Cairo's Child Center for Civilization and Creativity, Aleef 4th Open Air Pets Carnival, which kicked off on December 6, attracted thousands of pet owners and lovers.

The two-day event aims to help the participants learn more knowledge about raising and training home pets.

"We thought of starting this event four years ago in order to spread knowledge about animals to all pet lovers in Egypt," said Nadine Hamdy, director of the carnival which was initiated by a group of pet lovers.

The idea started with bringing dog and cat lovers and breeders together to exchange their knowledge about animals, she said, adding the event expanded with the participation of other animals such as parrots, hamsters, turtles, ferrets and reptiles.

"This carnival is not only meant to show animals, or exchange information about raising pets," Hamdy said, pointing out that the festival also hosts international companies that sell food for dogs and cats, and companies specializing in therapeutic supplies for pets.

The therapeutic supplies include "drugs, vitamins, and preventive and medicinal ointments that ensure the safety of animals and their owners," Hamdy said.

"There are veterinarians and laboratories available for any consultation or medical examination during the festival," she added.

Notably, the festival also includes a number of competitions for animals.

The carnival is becoming more popular in Egypt, Hamdy said, adding the numbers of visitors are markedly increasing every year.

"I have two daughters and I'm curious to come to the carnival every year ... My kids love pets and they also enjoy playing at this spacious garden," Farid Kotb, a middle-aged Egyptian, told Xinhua.

Kotb said the two-day carnival "means much" to his daughters "because they can find various kinds of animals at one place."

"The carnival is just like a smaller zoo. We have all kinds of animals and pets here, including hawks, reptiles, rodents, pet birds and even worms," he added.

For exhibitors, the carnival is an important event as it serves as a platform where they can let visitors know more about animals in general and pets in particular.

Wafiq Khawaga, a breeder of reptiles and hawks, said the festival helps him spread the culture of raising unfamiliar animals, and many people now accept the idea of raising animals such as snakes or scorpions.

"It is not easy in Egypt to convince people to have a snake at home, but this carnival made it easier for me because visitors can enjoy playing with a snake here," Khawaga told Xinhua.