The Rio 2016 Animal Management Service - a unique project to protect critters found in the vicinity of the Olympic and Paralympic host city’s venues and keep them out of harm’s way - has wound down its work.
In total, the service rescued 93 domesticated animals, with 89 of them going on to be adopted.
It also provided medical care for non-domesticated animals found living in the vicinity of the Olympic venues.
"We did a lot of work in the Maracanã area, which has always had a very large cat population, with more than 100 cats usually found in the vicinity of the stadium,” said the project’s manager Guilherme Andreoli.
“We vaccinated and treated them but we couldn’t offer them up for adoption as they were feral.”
The service also came into contact with more exotic creatures.
“The Olympic bay area is home to alligators, capybaras, opossums and other wild animals," Andreoli said.
“We kept an eye on them to prevent them from getting into competition areas.
“We rescued 63 wild animals in all, almost all of them in good condition, and they were returned immediately to habitats close to where we found them.”
Designed and implemented in partnership with the international NGO World Animal Protection, this part of the Rio 2016 Legacy Programme forged partnerships with the city’s veterinary clinics and held adoption fairs at shopping centres as well as organising public awareness campaigns.
Local communities were invited to take part in awareness and training sessions organised by World Animal Protection, who provided advice on responsible pet ownership.
In addition, a campaign designed to prevent animals from being abandoned and abused was launched prior to the Games.
Andreoli hopes the project will have a lasting impact, both in Rio and further afield.
“It was hard work but we got good results," he added.
“That said, we need to keep on educating people to ensure they take care of animals and look after them.
“I hope the work we’ve done here will inspire future cities to do the same when they host the Games, as well as the host cities of other major events such as the Pan American Games, the World Cup and the South American Games.
“If it does, then that will truly be our legacy.”