As three-year-old donkey Gora pulls his heavy cart of rubbish around the hot, dry and dusty streets of Rosso, Mauritania, he pauses to catch his breath. Recently, the pandemic has meant that work has been hard to find which means meals have become less frequent.
Gora is so malnourished that he doesn’t have the strength to carry the huge bags of waste he has picked up from local homes and businesses to take to the dump. He is so thin that his makeshift harness made from rope is digging into him, cutting into his flesh. His wasted muscles can no longer cushion him against the strain of the harness. Working is excruciating.
Before the pandemic, life for Gora was hard. With his 13-year-old owner Daouda, he worked 10-hour days transporting rubbish in extreme heat. When Covid-19 caused businesses to close and households to have less money, Daouda’s income was cut drastically. Now, Gora works three-hour days – which means there is less money to feed him.
The effects of the global pandemic are ongoing for Gora and thousands of animals like him in the world’s poorest communities, where basic survival is a struggle.
Lockdowns around the world have meant that many animals have not received veterinary care and conditions that can normally be managed have become more severe. Routine appointments, including vaccinations and anti-parasite and hoof treatments, have been missed. Infectious diseases are on the rise and cases of malnourishment and famine-related illnesses, such as colic, are at the highest level our vets have ever seen.
Sadly, this means that hardworking animals are experiencing unprecedented suffering. Their recovery will be a long process.
Fortunately, thanks to supporters like you, we’ve managed to keep our Mauritanian mobile clinic on the road during the pandemic. Daouda heard about our free veterinary care and when our team travelled to nearby Rosso, he took his donkey there to get urgent treatment.
Our vets started by giving the hungry donkey something to eat and then sprayed Gora’s wounds with antiseptic to sterilise and keep them clean. Finally, they gave Gora a treatment to kill internal parasites, which were making his malnourishment worse.
The team advised Daouda to use soft padding over Gora’s chest strap to prevent the harness wound reoccurring. They showed Daouda how to keep his donkey’s wounds clean and dry and advised him to give them time to heal.
Our clinics are being inundated with working animals from the world’s poorest countries, suffering because of the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 crisis. It is only with your support, that we can keep them open to help thousands of animals like Gora. Many are starving and some have been abandoned. Our aim is to help them all.
To speak to our friendly supporter care team please visit our contact us page and get in touch.