Ecuador: Hero dog dies of exhaustion after rescuing seven earthquake victims

Dayko had been working at the Ibarra Fire Department for two-and-a-half years. Credit: Facebook/Ibarra Fire Department

A four-year-old white Labrador has died from exhaustion after rescuing seven people in the aftermath of Ecuador's 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

Dayko, a rescue dog for the local Ibarra fire service, spent days searching for survivors trapped in rubble left by the quake which struck off Ecuador's coast on April 16.

He had worked in several areas, including Ibarra and Pedernales, and received national and international certifications.

A post mortem revealed that Dayko died during a medical examination after suffering a heart attack and respiratory failure.

Dayko spent days searching for earthquake survivors and rescued seven people. Credit: Facebook/Ibarra Fire Department

The Ibarra Fire Department said in a statement on its Facebook page: "We regret to inform you that the Ibarra fire service is in mourning because we have lost Dayko, who took part in the search at Pedernales.

"This four-legged friend gave his life in the line of duty. Thank you Dayko for your heroic efforts in Pedernales and in various emergencies where you were present. You held high the name of the K9 unit."

At least 655 people have been killed and more than 2,000 injured in the April 16 earthquake.

Ecuador's president Rafael Correa said the cost of rebuilding the damage could be up to £2.1 billion ($3 billion).