Equine welfare charity the Brooke is airlifting several tons of feed to stranded horses and donkeys that have survived the devastating floods in the foothills of northern India.
In the state of Uttarakhand — where some reports estimate the human death toll could rise to 10,000 — around 9,500 horses have died. The charity believes that around 3,000 still remain trapped by the floods.
General Sharma, chief executive of the Brooke in India and his team have already airlifted 2.5 tons of feed to horses in isolated areas by army helicopters.
“Many roads remain impassable,” said General Sharma. “Helicopters are the only reliable route in and out of the flood zone at the moment.”
The Brooke is also treating animals that have managed to make it down to Bijnor, in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, from the mountainous area that is worst affected.
Working alongside three government vets, the Brooke team has treated 200 horses and donkeys suffering from dehydration, exhaustion and cuts and bruises, due to the tough trek to safety.
The charity has sent a support team in anticipation of a further 300 animals arriving in Bijnor. It is also providing the horses with a week’s supply of nutritious food and resuscitation medication.