The Donkey Sanctuary sent an emergency team to Barbuda in the Caribbean on 1 October to help feral donkeys left on the island, following the human evacuations after Hurricane Irma. The donkeys currently risk hindering the rebuilding efforts by straying onto the local airport runway and the charity has been asked to assist. It will also assess the impact of the Hurricane on the welfare of the donkeys.
The Donkey Sanctuary has been invited to Barbuda by the Antigua and Barbuda Human Society, and joins World Animal Protection, who have been helping provide immediate assistance to help abandoned animals (largely dogs, cats and livestock) on the island as well as providing specific expertise on donkey welfare.
The emergency team of four, John Leach, Kevin Brown, Rob Nichols and Simon Pope, are travelling from the charity’s headquarters in Sidmouth, Devon and are visiting Barbuda this week.
They will be looking to assess the welfare of the donkeys, and provide emergency help to any that are hungry, thirsty or injured. They will also establish links with local authorities to support the local airport, Codrington Airport, which had its perimeter fencing damaged by the hurricane. They will be looking to come up with short- term and longer-term fencing solutions to prevent the donkeys straying onto the airport runway, to minimise their impact on the efforts now being made to rebuild the island’s infrastructure.
The team will assess the situation in Barbuda fully, and is currently making contact with organisations involved in providing animal welfare care on other impacted islands, including Dominica. They will report back regularly to the UK.
If you would like to follow the team in Barbuda, or donate to help The Donkey Sanctuary support donkeys at times of crisis, please visit JustGiving page.