I’m a veterinary student currently interning at Central Veterinary Hospital, located in Tripureshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal. With my fellow students and other vets I’ve been working hard tending the urgent needs of the many animals injured in the first devastating earthquake that hit our country just over two weeks ago. Our hospital bears cracks from the quake, but thankfully is not damaged to the extent that stops us doing our jobs.
On Tuesday, 12 May I had started to feel that the initial shock of the first quake was slowly subsiding and life was just beginning to return to normal. It was a bright, breezy day with lots of warm sunshine and a blue sky.
Inside our damaged hospital we were working our way through the queue of earthquake-injured patients who desperately needed our help. Many were in terrible pain with broken legs, some with spinal injuries, wounds and bruises and other problems.
I was tending a cow whose broken bone had splintered through its flesh when suddenly somebody frantically shouted “Bhukampa! [Earthquake!] Bhukampa!”
Incredibly, another strong, uncontrollable, undulating tremor was upon us.
We guided everyone in a frantic rush to open ground, fearful that this new onslaught would make the building give way and bury us all. People holding their much loved—pets were able to flee quickly, but we were forced to leave large, immobile animals with broken legs. All we could do for them was to hope the building would hold.
Luckily, for us this tremor slowly settled and didn’t result in major destruction or casualties in my immediate vicinity. But a cold chill went down my spine when I contemplated the fate of the animals in the previously devastated areas of Sinhupalchowk and Kavre.
News reports are indicating a death toll that increases by the hour, and in Dolakha district many animals have been crushed to death in the rubble.
This most recent quake will undoubtedly be responsible for a surge of injured animals. It has also reopened the trauma of the previously unhealed wounds of animals and people alike.
It breaks my heart to know that in these difficult circumstances it will be even harder to get immediate veterinary care and treatment to horrifically injured, sick and traumatised animals. Their cries resonate with their pain, their suffering, their hunger and their need for shelter.
They are in desperate need of help from the world community. Vitally important organisations like World Animal Protection must continue their work to heal the suffering of the animals of Nepal.
Uday Singh Karki
Nepal earthquake appeal
In the wake of the tragic second earthquake in Nepal, we are continuing to raise funds to save animals and protect the livelihoods of local communities in the country. Please donate today to help us protect animals.