Feral cats undergo mass sterilization surgery to control population at Yongsan

by Kim Gamel and Matt Keeler
Stars and Stripes

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Volunteers led by a military spouse/animal welfare specialist rounded up dozens of feral cats over the weekend for a mass sterilization surgery to contain the growing population on this Army garrison in the heart of Seoul.

The operation was the culmination of a monthslong effort by Kerri Burrows, who noticed the problem after moving to Yongsan in July when her husband, an Air Force pilot, was assigned to the U.S.-led Combined Forces Command based there.

“It seemed to be an enormous amount of cats in comparison to other places that I’ve been,” she said, estimating that 200 cats are on Yongsan, which is spread over about 630 acres in one of the trendiest parts of Seoul.

The issue has taken on urgency as the garrison is in the process of closing and eventually returning the land to the South Koreans after most U.S. forces moved to a new hub south of Seoul. Many buildings and stores already have been shuttered, leaving lots of empty space for the cats.

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