On Sunday 19 August another aftershock with a magnitude of 6.9 struck the Indonesian island of Lombok. Previous earthquakes had already killed over 400 people and left hundreds of thousands sleeping out in the open. On the Gili Islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, many had to flee their homes and leave behind their horses and community cats, many of them injured and without access to food and fresh water. A FOUR PAWS disaster relief team has been active in the region since last week to provide them with food and medical care.
Jackson Zee, FOUR PAWS Director of Disaster Relief, explains: “My team was on the island during the second 6.9 aftershock and it was fearful to feel the ground shaking and see buildings collapsing. Still, we can only imagine how the people here feel with no homes to return to. By providing help for their animals we want to give them some time to take care of their families and slowly rebuild their lives.”
Mostly horses and cats affected
As motorized vehicles are not permitted on the Gili Islands, the community is completely dependent on horses for transportation. Gili Air has more than 100 horses currently running loose. Scared, dehydrated and injured, they are a danger to themselves and to the people still on the island. FOUR PAWS is aiming to treat all of them medically and secure all those running loose to prevent them from injuring themselves or others. On Gili Trawangan, there are around 400 community cats. The FOUR PAWS team is supporting local vets to treat them medically.
The FOUR PAWS disaster relief team has organised over three tons of horse food and over five tons of cat and dog food, which will help to support the animals and their owners for the next two to three weeks. FOUR PAWS has joined forces on site with several local groups, among them Bali Animal Welfare Association, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Horses of Gili and Cats of Gili.
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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org