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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dog Falls into Volcanic Fissure, Gets Stranded for Two Days: Local Adventurer Risks Life to Save Her

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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 south of Hilo.

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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.”

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“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.

CORRECTION, March 9, 2022: An earlier version of this article included an incorrect reference to the location of the Kilauea volcano. We regret the error.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking