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 an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. The work is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise as well as intensive national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence: stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companion animals and wild animals including bears, big cats and orang-utans kept in inappropriate conditions. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly. www.four-paws.org.uk