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August 9, 2010

Responding to Floods in Pakistan

Sadness as sanctuary is devastated

Humane Society International

  • Bears from Kund Park were lost in the floods. Igor Grochev/iStockphoto

The most devastating floods in more than 80 years have been raging throughout northwestern Pakistan, killing thousands and leaving hundreds of thousands of others homeless or without a way to make a living. Much has been destroyed in its wake, including entire villages, dams, roads, schools and food supplies. Many people are still awaiting assistance of any kind, as rescue efforts are very dangerous and difficult to attempt.

Among the victims of this disaster are no doubt, countless animals. With constant rain still coming down in the region, there is little escape from the dreadful conditions.

Kund Park, a World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)-sponsored sanctuary for formerly abused bears, was destroyed in the disaster, with many bears lost to the floodwaters or facing an unknown fate in the surrounding landscape. Our heartfelt condolences go out to WSPA staff, who are feeling this tremendous loss. Thankfully, the staff of the local organization, Bioresearch Centre, who run the park and care for the bears directly, survived and recently, three bears were rescued and transported to a different location.

HSI has connected with WSPA and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to learn how we can best assist in responding to this crisis. We are reaching out to our local and government contacts in Pakistan, and will know more about our ability to help in the upcoming days.