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FOUR PAWS provides emergency help to animals affected by devastating Cape Town fires


© FOUR PAWS | 2015

Cape Town, 6th March. International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has launched an emergency relief mission in South Africa after severe fires swept across Cape Town this week, causing devastating damage.

As a result of the fires, houses have been destroyed and local residents have been forced to flee. Several thousand hectares have already been destroyed by the fires. The Table Mountain National Park has also been badly affected. Now, FOUR PAWS has put together an emergency relief team on site to help injured wild animals.

Wildlife experts from the international animal welfare organization, which has an office in Cape Town, are working closely with authorities in the area to help as many animals as possible. FOUR PAWS has years of experience carrying out emergency missions.


Meanwhile, the flames have been brought under control, which means that the FOUR PAWS team, supported by volunteers, can start looking for injured animals. The fire has mainly affected baboons, tortoises, hedgehogs, snakes, reptiles, birds and caracal. Fiona Miles, Country Manager of FOUR PAWS South Africa said: "We help where we can. Yesterday we took care of several baboons with severe burn injuries."

Many people have already supported the workers on site with donations, while some even offered to support the team as volunteers. Fiona Miles, however, advises people not to look for injured animals on their own: “It is best if possible to leave the rescue efforts to our experienced rescue teams. It is possible that wild animals, driven away by the fire from their habitat, are now fleeing into inhabited areas. Caution and understanding are needed; the animals have, like many humans, just lost their home."


Another issue for animals that have escaped the fire is extreme thirst. Miles: "Individuals can help by putting water bowls into their gardens. Healthy animals, however, should be left alone and people should not enter the national park, so as not to startle the animals inside their retreats."

FOUR PAWS is also helping victims to feed their companion animals, which are often an important comfort in times of distress, especially when people have lost their homes. Other animal welfare organisations such as the Domestic Animal Rescue Group ("Darg") need help with the evacuation of animals in their care.


FOUR PAWS has organized a collection of in-kind donations on site: blankets, towels, water bowls, bandages, gloves, pet food and first aid kits to provide help for the injured animals.