On the ground in the Philippines to protect animals from the Mayon Volcano eruption

24 January 2018

On January 13, Mt. Mayon started to erupt and now thousands of animals are in danger. We’re on the ground rescuing and treating as many as we can.

Mt. Mayon is erupting right now. The government has called for an immediate evacuation of people within an 8-kilometer radius but animals were not part of the evacuation plan and they need our help.

Outside of the danger zone, animals are suffering from burns and other injuries as a result of inhaling or ingesting ash.

Our Disaster Liaison Officer Dr. May Christine Espiritus and her team are on the ground at this moment, coordinating aid and treating animals.

Mayon volcano continues to spurt out huge lava bombs, molten rocks and ash into the air. Photo: Jeremias Espiritu / World Animal Protection.

Reporting from the field, Dr. Espiritus describes the situation:

“Today we evacuated a total of 215 animals and treated some sick animals, giving them vitamins to them to fight diseases caused by the stress of this disaster.

We still have more animals to be evacuated, more specifically in the area where ash falls are frequent. The animals in these areas are facing great danger, lacking for food because grass can’t be eaten. Ingesting grass with ashes is very dangerous for the health of the animals.

Another problem is that despite the Department of Agriculture is providing concentrate feeds for the animals, they are not eating it. They still love to eat grass rather than concentrates but I think I have a solution for this. We can include molasses to the concentrate feeds for it to become more palatable to the animals.

In reality, the Provincial Vet Office doesn’t have a budget for this animal rescue/ evacuation because the only budget they had was already used in the evacuation center for humans. The assistance we receive from World Animal Protection is therefore critical to save these animals.”

Dr. Espiritus and her team treating animals affected by the sudden eruption from Mt. Mayon. Photo: Jeremias Espiritu / World Animal Protection.

What’s next?

Dr. Espiritus and her team are coordinating directly with the Provincial Veterinary Office on a plan to rescue animals that are still in the danger zone.

Our relief work will treat injured animals and provide medication to fight infections and diseases.

This aid is critical for nearly 2,000 cows, buffaloes, dogs and other companion animals affected by the Mayon volcano eruptions.

It's thanks to our generous supporters that we are able to act quickly to help animals affected in disaster zones. Please consider making a donation to help our efforts in the Phillippines.

 

Top image: Dr. Espiritus visits the disaster area to treat animals affected by the sudden eruption and identify other possible emergency needs. Photo: Jeremias Espiritu / World Animal Protection.

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