“The whole ground started trembling, the stones dropping one and other from the wall. I rushed downstairs to the ground and there I remembered my three buffaloes still inside the collapsing shed. I rushed to untie them but it was too late for Kali, the adult female buffalo, as the roof collapsed on her,” said Indra Bahadur Jyoti 50, recalling the moment the earthquake struck.
Shiva Kumari Jyoti, 71, her son Indra and two of their buffaloes. They survived the earthquake but are living in temporary shelters. We treated the buffaloes pictured for skin infections and bruises. May 3, Sinduplachowk, Nepal. © World Animal Protection
As our team was ascending the narrow dusty road up to the Chhanauta Village Development Committee, Sindupalchowk, we saw terrible evidence of destruction; houses turned into rubble, people impatiently waiting to collect any aid arriving, livestock with bruises and wounds crying out in pain. No sooner had we reached the village than people started asking to help their traumatized animals describing the impacts of earthquake on their livestock. Like Indra, everyone had heartbreaking stories to share about the terrible toll on their livestock and homes from the April 25th earthquake.
We walked up steep pathways that took us through the wrecked sites – once homes and animal shelters. Sita Jyoti, 40 explained, “When the earthquake begin, I held my two children in my arms and rushed out of my home which was starting to crack. Soon the whole structure fell apart and the stones crushed the goat shed too. The female goat who was a mother of five kids was trapped inside the shed with her young. We were only able to rescue them after three days.” We checked the mother goat and her kids and prescribed medicines for them. One small female was limping as a result of being buried alive.
Volunteer vet Dr. Ramchandra and Dr. Akash Maheshwari examine the lame kid belonging to Sita Jyoti. © World Animal Protection
There was not a single home where the livestock weren’t injured. Our team walked all day long to treat as much animals as we could and gave them the necessary medicines.
I am a student of veterinary medicines and volunteered with World Animal Protection’s response team. Together, four of us Nepali vets and local officials worked with the team. I am very happy to have the chance to come to the aid of animals and their owners but I wonder - did we do enough? even though it seems nothing is not enough right now. I am glad to have been able to at least soothe the wounds of animals and hearts of people by reassuring them that help is on the way. I, you and we must come together and heal the suffering of animals and humans in Nepal.
Uday pictured in the background, takes notes on an animal's health condition and what medications are required while another volunteer looks on. © World Animal Protection
Guest blogger Uday Singh Karki is 23 years old and in his final year of veterinary studies. Originally from Chitwan, Nepal, he is based in Kathmandu. He is passionate about animal welfare and improving the lives of people and animals in Nepal.