Rest of Asia

Philippines: Hero dog, who saved two girls, dies

Filed on May 19, 2021
A veterinarian carries Kabang after she returned to the Philippines to a hero's welcome following surgery in the US to reconstruct her face in 2013. Photo: AFP

Kabang's snout and part of her jaw were torn off when she saved the girls from being hit by a motorcycle

A dog hailed as a hero in the Philippines after it lost half its face while apparently saving two girls from being hit by a motorcycle a decade ago has died, her owner said.

Anton Mari Lim announced Kabang's death on Facebook this week, sparking an outpouring of grief and tributes on social media for the 13-year-old mutt.

Kabang became an internet sensation in 2011 after local media reported how she had saved the lives of two girls crossing a busy road by deliberately leaping in front of a motorbike.

"You have always been a hero, selfless to a fault," wrote the vet, who first treated Kabang and later adopted her.

"I will miss you jumping over the gate to greet me everytime i get home, staying beside me when i work in the garden or acting like a supervisor when i mow the lawn. You were just there."

In the accident, Kabang's snout and part of her jaw were torn off when the motorcycle flipped over, also damaging an eyelid.

An online fundraising drive raised more than $27,000 to treat her wounds in the United States. Her face was partially rebuilt, but efforts to fit a prosthetic snout and jaw were abandoned.

Kabang died in her sleep on Monday, Lim said in the Facebook post, which has been liked and shared thousands of times.

"Run free Kabang," said many of the hundreds of comments on the post.

Kabang's remains will be kept in a concrete vault at the foot of a solid aluminium statue of her in the southern city of Zamboanga that was funded by an American fan.

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