A female cow lies paddling in the mud. She is trying to birth her calf but he is stuck due to her exhaustion. She is filthy and the dirt in her eyes prevents her seeing the people approach her. She bellows out, breathing deeply; thirsty and tired from not eating for days. She is a victim to the extensive floods in Gujarat state of India this week.
Luckily for this cow, the Worldwide Vets team from the Indian Vet Clinic have just arrived.
More than 120 people have been killed by widespread floods and many more animals are dying and suffering from the natural disaster. Farming has been halted, crops destroyed and animals and people alike are being badly affected by infectious diseases spreading across the state as water moved sludge and sewage around towns and countryside. More than a million households have been affected, the airport flooded and shops and factories forced to close.
Animals across the state are battling to fight off disease and find food. Many stray dogs and cats rely on refuse and dumps to find food, but with the rubbish being washed out in to the streets, and normal grasslands covered, carnivores and herbivores are battling for their lives. The Worldwide Vets team are working around the clock to reach as many animals as possible.
“Cattle are suffering the most. The grasses are covered and many are starving as weak as a result” said project manager Lalu Bhatt.
The team have been tending to the sacred cattle, administering fluids to the dehydrated, and intravenous calcium to hypocalcaemic animas. They have been assisting with calvings of animals who are too weak to do so unassisted, then moving them to shelter. So far they have helped over 200 cows, and each day they go out seeking more animals to help.
It certainly is a sorry sight, seeing the thin cows lying in the mud. For the lucky ones, those who have been reached, we have to thank our Worldwide Vets’ volunteers for tirelessly supporting and volunteering at our clinics, and the team on the ground for their care of the animals. It is a long week ahead!