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October 29, 2010

HSI Gives Aid After Indonesian Volcano Erupts

Farm animals, wildlife affected

Humane Society International

  • Mud everywhere. ProFauna

  • Victim of disaster. ProFauna

On October 26, 2010, Merapi volcano in Central Java, Indonesia erupted, sending volcanic mud throughout the surrounding villages. The human death toll continues to rise, while the animal casualties are also horrific. Farming is a staple of life in the region, so thousands of farm animals, including cows and goats, were affected by this disaster.

Humane Society International responded to a plea for support by ProFauna, a local Indonesian animal welfare organization, whose field team took action immediately to determine how they could help animal victims of this event. Hundreds of animals are dead, but those who survived are now in need of veterinary care, food and clean water. Not only farm but wild animals, mainly the local long-tailed macaques, are suffering. The monkeys will need a supplemental food source for some time, as their habitat was devastated.

ProFauna is working on procuring and distributing food and medication as quickly as they can. They have also been in touch with local authorities, including the Livestock Department and the Office of Merapi Volcano National Park. Staff of both have both expressed appreciation for ProFauna's efforts.

The chairman of ProFauna Indonesia, Rosek Nursahid, stated, "Helping the animal victims is also helping the humans because if we don't help them, the animals can suffer zoonotic diseases that can be also be transmitted to humans." And in many cases, the surviving animals may be all that people have left.