Even as rescue teams are racing against time to evacuate stranded persons from the flood-affected regions of Uttarakhand, two NGOs have stepped in efforts to save the animals in the region.
The Humane Society International and People for Animals have been busy relocating the animals to safer locations.
“We plan to start our rescue operations from Gaurikund as it has the largest mule congregation,” said Gauri Mulekhi of People for animals, who is busy with the rescue efforts in Gaurikhand.
“The animals of Uttarakhand need our help. They are starving with absolutely no vegetation available,” she added.
Mules are an absolute necessity in the region, often used for transporting men and material in the region where the trek is arduous. Often there are no roads and pilgrims visiting Kedarnath, Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib have to rely on them.
Though official estimates say that around 2000 mules are missing from Govindghat and Gaurikhand, but the actual count maybe higher.
“Everyone is worried about human evacuation, no one is bothered about these animals,” said Gauri, who is also a member of Animal Welfare Board of India.
“They are less important I agree but at least send them some help, may be less in proportion but don’t abandon them completely,” she urged.
Gauri apart, Soham Mukherjee of Humane Society International, who is also involved with the rescue operations, said: “We are carrying basic medicines and vaccination for the animals.”
“Not only mules but we are prepared for faunal life of any forms. We primarily plan to operate for a week. We are trying to shift these animals to safer places as much as possible.”