July 20, 2018

Devon donkey charity flies to Caribbean to save animals after Hurricane Irma


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A team of four is looking after donkeys in Barbuda

An emergency team from Devon-based charity The Donkey Sanctuary arrived in Barbuda on Monday to help the feral donkey population on the island following Hurricane Irma.

The stricken donkeys currently risk hindering the rebuilding efforts by straying onto the local airport runway.

The Donkey Sanctuary, which is based near Sidmouth, says that an emergency team of four will be looking to assess the welfare of the donkeys.

They will also establish links with authorities to support the local airport, , which had its perimeter fencing damaged by the hurricane.

, rapid response and campaigns manager at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “The feral donkey population has gravitated towards the airport after Barbuda was evacuated – attracted by the grassy open spaces next to the runway.

“The donkeys, from what we have seen, are in good condition, but in order for the airport to return to full working order, we need to look at the short-term and long-term fencing solutions.

“We are meeting with airport officials on Tuesday and will continue to help other animal charities on the ground in Barbuda to reconnect pet owners with their animals that had to be left behind.

“We have already seen for ourselves just how much some dogs were in despair from a lack of human company.”

The Donkey Sanctuary has been invited to Barbuda by the Antigua and Barbuda Human Society, and also joins World Animal Protection and Animals for Barbuda, who have been helping provide immediate assistance to help abandoned animals on the island, as well as providing specific expertise on donkey welfare.

The team is made up of John Leach, executive director of resources, , vet and welfare expert, Rob Nichols, care and welfare expert and Simon Pope.

They will assess the situation in Barbuda fully, and are currently making contact with organisations involved in providing animal welfare care on other impacted islands, including Dominica.


Abandoned donkeys at Codrington Airport in Barbuda (Image: The Donkey Sanctuary)
The stray donkeys risk hindering the rebuilding efforts by straying onto the local airport runway (Image: The Donkey Sanctuary)
A team from The Donkey Sanctuary are helping stricken animals in Barbuda (Image: The Donkey Sanctuary)

For more on this story go to: http://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/devon-donkey-charity-flies-caribbean-569487

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