Kawika Singson is known for his daring feats of photography and love for the flora and fauna of Hawaii. His photography often features adventurous shots of volcanoes that put his safety in danger.
So when a dog became trapped in a 25-foot-deep volcanic fissure, Singson was the man for the job — and, of course, he caught the rescue on film.
“I received a text about a dog that fell in a volcanic fissure deep in the tropical rain forest,” he said in the caption of the resulting YouTube video, posted Feb. 6. “So I made the 100 mile drive to try and help rescue the dog.”
Thankfully the dog, named Malka, had been outfitted with a GPS collar. When she disappeared, her owner, a teen named Cody, was able to track her location to the remote location, a fissure on the Kilauea volcano on the island Hilo.
The location took some work to get to as it was around a mile and a half into the dense forest, and rappelling into the crevice posed danger in the form of potential fluctuating temperatures and toxic gases.
The dog had been trapped for two days when Singson arrived, and a group of people that included Malka’s owner was on-site and ready to start the rescue.
The narrow space was barely wide enough for Singson and his gear to shimmy down, and as he descended, the dog whined pitifully. He reassured the dog as he got closer and pet her to try to calm her.
He continued to work in the claustrophobia-inducing space to secure the dog before climbing back up.
As Singson struggled to get back to the surface with Malka propped over his shoulder, he noted “she’s shaking” but seemed to understand he was there to help.
When he was a few feet from the top, he clipped a lead onto her collar and the crew waiting at the top hauled her up, where she greeted them with wags.
“Another happy ending,” Singson said after he was back on solid ground. “We got Malka out of this hole.”
“So yes, we retrieved the dog — we found the dog, we found the dog thanks to the, Cody and his GPS,” he said at the end of the YouTube video.
“Very smart of him, he has a GPS tracker on his dog,” Singson said. “The dog was in, not a ravine like I initially thought he was, it was in a little crack, about 25 feet down, in the lava, in the forest. Without that tracker, that dog would have never, ever been found. There’s no way.
“Also, lucky I am as small and skinny as … I am, because there’s no way a bigger person, any person bigger than I am would have fit in there.”
A happy ending to a story that started out scary, and an excellent example of why you should keep your dog on a leash — or at least invest in a GPS tracker like Malka’s owners did.