BEIRA, Mozambique—A team of animal rescue experts from animal charity Humane Society International is providing emergency aid to animals in some of the areas hardest hit by Cyclone Idai. HSI’s team has been working in Malawi and Mozambique, providing much needed food, medicine and care to sick, injured and lost animals. They have also met with national and local government officials and community leaders to assess the needs for animal populations in the areas. Amongst the rescue workers is Brit Jack Finn-Kelcey, a member of HSI’s Animal Rescue Team and a former British Army paratrooper who has previously lived in Malawi.
One of HSI’s specialties is responding to the needs of animals following disasters, and the organization has been working with officials and local groups to complement the humanitarian relief effort, even travelling by helicopter to help animals in places currently inaccessible by road. Veterinary care is given to any animal in need, and more than 200 animals have been treated so far, including dogs and cats, and a host of farm animals – cows, pigs and goats – suffering in the wake of the cyclone. Critical veterinary care includes treatment for vitamin deficiencies and dispensing antibiotics and vaccinations to prevent disease.
Many communities have sustained an immeasurable loss of both human and animal life, and HSI’s Animal Rescue Team has witnessed the vast destruction caused by the cyclone. In the Nhamatanda district outside of Beira, the team came across an emaciated calf who was suffering from dehydration so extreme he could not stand. After hydrating the calf and administering veterinary aid he was able to stand and began nursing again from his mother. In another district, the team found that only 16 of the 108 cattle in a single community had survived. The team has also provided vaccinations and deworming for dogs, including three tiny puppies whose mum had died.
Kelly Donithan of HSI’s Animal Rescue Team said, “We have been working around the clock to treat animals injured or swept away in the cyclone, treating wounds, administering medication and providing food, water and basic supplies. Animals are not only beloved in many communities across Malawi and Mozambique but also central to their lives and livelihoods. By providing lifesaving care and disease prevention, we hope to help these communities and their animals begin the long road to recovery.”
HSI is asking for donations to its Animal Rescue Fund to help the charity continue providing essential veterinary medicines, food, water, blankets, shelter materials and transport for this response and for other disasters around the world. Donate here.
Photos and video from our animal rescue efforts in Malawi and Mozambique are available here.
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UK: Harriet Barclay, HBarclay@hsi.org, +44 (0) 7794 354596
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