Almost a year ago, in mid-March 2020, in the midst of a covid pandemic, the Department of the Environment decided to prune a ficus in the Sergio Melgares park, in PAU 5. It was not just any specimen, it was a tree that had become a place of remembrance for hundreds of deceased pets, a meeting place baptized by citizens as “El Rinconcito” and that it was even included in tourist guides of the Alicante capital. In fact, at the foot of the tree a plaque had been placed: «A small corner where we remember those four-legged angels who have already left and who we loved so much, and who gave us so much. If you also have a furry friend to honor, put on your ribbon ». And there were many, hundreds of people, who were placing tapes for more than five years, always with personalized messages for their pets.
However, without warning, the tree appeared “naked” one morning in March 2020, without several of its thick branches and no trace of the hundreds of tapes that deceased pet owners had placed over the years. The decision to prune the tree and remove the souvenir strips, as explained by the Environment, was for safety, since -as they defended- «there was a danger of breaking the branches because the fabric strips were strangling the tree, making candle in a ficus with sensitive branches». After pruning, the Environment made sure that the tapes were preserved and that they would be replaced as soon as a secure structure was enabled to give continuity to “El Rinconcito”.
That moment has come now, almost a year later. At first, there was talk of the placement of a perimeter fence to be able to put the souvenir tapes without danger for the ficus. Finally, the City Council decided on order the construction of a metal tree, that already shines in the Sergio Melgares park, just a few dozen meters from where the natural specimen continues. The original.
The metal structure, reminiscent of a tree and that includes a small dog at the base of the trunk and some birds and a squirrel at the top, It has been a donation from the Technological Institute of Metal of Alicante. During this waiting time, pet owners have placed dozens of strips on the fence of the dog park located in the area. Although the old ones, according to the councilor, wait in municipal offices to be replaced. Now they will be displayed on a metal tree that includes a plaque of appreciation to the Metal Institute, dated January 2021 and signed by the mayor, Luis Barcala. Still, yes, there is no date to remove the fence and the fabric that cover the structure. However, there are not a few who have not wanted to wait any longer. There are already people who have rushed to put the first tapes. Some already remember Ulises, Oliver and Broche.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.