The first cat hospitalised after the botched cull on Stockton Breakwall has found her forever home, as carers and campaigners plan a protest against possible future culls.
The Herald reported last month that cat Lily was taken to Mayfield Vet after she was shot in the eye during an attempted cull of the breakwall cats on December 17 ordered by the Port of Newcastle.
After two weeks at the vet which included being fed via a tube through the back of her neck, Lily has now been discharged from the animal hospital and is living with a carer.
She is blind, but otherwise recovering slowly in her new home.
Her new owner, who did not wish to be identified, had thankfully formed a close bond with Lily over several months on the breakwall before she was shot.
"She's had a little wander, came out of her cage," fellow carer Nadine Sisterson said. "She can't see but she's following voices. She's using her senses to get around. It's only early days, she has a very big recovery ahead.
"She's quite traumatised. They take her outside in her cage and see a different cat emerge. She's really alert, her ears stand up. All she's ever known is outside."
Meanwhile the Stray Cats Project is planning a protest for January 14 at midday outside the Port of Newcastle Building.
Founder Rochelle Wood said rescuers were calling on the port not to perform any more culls on the breakwall cats.
"They're not saying they're going to stop the cull," Ms Wood said.
The port said all animal control activity remained suspended while an investigation is underway.
A spokesperson said the investigation, which was launched in December, "is being led by external experts and is examining all aspects of the activity".
"It would not be appropriate to comment until the investigation is complete," the spokesperson said.
"Port of Newcastle's priority is to ensure the site is safe for our community, while also protecting native flora and fauna and aligning with government advice on this issue."
Ms Sisterson said carers had been working around the clock to get the cats off the wall and into care.
Ms Wood said they had managed to take 16 cats off the wall, while they believe 16 cats remain out there - 14 of which are desexed.
She said another two undesexed males had moved in since the cull, and they believe eight were killed and taken away, as they haven't seen those cats since.
"TNR (trap-neuter-release) research says cats will hold a number in an area, but if you remove them, undesexed cats will move into the space," Ms Wood said.
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