In the bustling city of Istanbul, a stray dog named Boji has earned celebrity status through his unique adventures, traversing the city via ferries, trams, and subway cars. Boji’s extraordinary escapades came to the public’s attention a few months ago, and local authorities were astounded by his resourcefulness.
Alvin Erol, the head of customer relations at Metro Istanbul, marveled at Boji’s abilities, saying, “He knows where to go. He knows where to get out.”
Boji’s daily journeys cover an impressive distance, with projections estimating that he travels up to 30 kilometers, or roughly 18.6 miles, a day. He navigates through numerous Metro stations and undertakes at least two ferry crossings.
Chris McGrath, a Getty Images photographer who spent a day following Boji around the city, described the dog as a “free spirit” with an irresistible urge to ride on public transportation. Passersby and commuters often upload photos and selfies with Boji on social media, where he now has his own Twitter and Instagram accounts, boasting tens of thousands of followers.
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Boji has become a beloved member of the community, recognized and cherished by many. His growing fame has even led to moments when protective locals intervene on his behalf, defending him from anyone who might shoo him away.
City personnel have taken on the role of Boji’s guardians, ensuring his well-being. Recently, they provided him with grooming and a thorough medical examination, including a behavioral study to ensure that his interactions with humans and other animals are positive. A small cage was erected for Boji at one of the Metro stations, and he’s offered food at any time he returns.
<img class=”lazy c008″ src=”data:;base64,” alt=”Boji waits on the platform to board a subway train. ” />
City personnel closely monitor Boji’s activities using a smartphone app, working together with McGrath to document his daily journeys. Boji has an uncanny knack for finding the train doors precisely and can even anticipate when a train is about to arrive. He’s known for being persistent; when passengers disembark, he tries to hop on board.
When Boji boards a ferry, he instinctively chooses the side of the boat that will catch the most sunlight, showcasing his preference for water travel. He even enjoys the vibrations of the ferry as it departs and often barks at the waves.
While he encounters several stray cats on his journeys, Boji is not a fan of them. Istanbul is known for its abundance of cats, earning the city the nickname “Catstanbul,” and Boji has been observed chasing them away.
Given the widespread presence of stray animals in Istanbul, Boji usually finds food with ease. Many restaurants and houses discreetly provide water and food dishes for animals, which Boji seems to know about.
The municipality is planning to install information signs about Boji on the transport system to guide people on how to interact with him, though, as McGrath puts it, “He doesn’t listen to anybody.” Boji’s spirited independence is what makes him unique, and he simply goes about doing what makes him happy – exploring the city and traveling on his own terms.