Floods issues in Thailand: what about the animals?

From mid-october 2011 to January 2012, Thailand has experienced severe flooding. Starting as a normal thai monsoon season, it has transformed in a terrible issue that resulted in a total of 815 deaths, more than 13.6 million people affected, and an estimation of $45.7 Bn in economic damages and losses.

The World Bank estimates this to be the 4th costliest disaster in world’s history.

But involved in the disaster and badly affected by the floods were not just crops and humans, but also animals. Numerous are the people and the organizations that have been working to amend this issue, that so many of us neglect or do not even think of.

The floods mostly affected the northern, northeastern and central part of Thailand. In october floodwaters reached the Chao Phraya and inundated parts of the capital city of Bangkok, leaving the Bangkok Zoo safari world and Dusit Zoo under water. The animals were evacuated to the Khao Kheow Open Zoo which was a safety place. In total there were 77 provinces declared as disaster zones and 20,000 km of the farmland was damaged.

Because of the floods, many pets were abandoned and left behind, many of them were suffering from starvation and drowning. Eventually, people started realizing the damage that could cause and how much those animals were suffering, so many groups and non-governmental organizations such as Human society International and World Vets have sent emergency vets and people to help the affected areas and began to gather efforts to rescue and take those animals away from the flood affected areas.

Not only general pets were affected, like cats and dogs, but also large size animals, like elephants, that were trapped for several days on a small concrete island, with no access to food.

Moreover, because of the floods, big and dangerous animals like crocodiles and poisonous snakes escaped from zoos and veterinary clinics and were released to the streets, which represented a dangerous threat for humans.

The need to rescue animals in danger goes back to the inevitable caring relationship between humans and pets. Animal lovers can’t help but dedicating their time, energy and money to help animal victims of the floods. As well as, trying to avoid the animals from facing a miserable and painful death.

In addition, the importance of keeping the environment and subjects of nature safe, animals in this case, must not be underestimated and mustn’t be not considered specially when devastating natural disasters take place.

Discarding less moral issues mentioned above, it is important to bare in mind the effects on nature, the death of animals might have, for example in agriculture.

Contrastingly, the need to rescue animals is due to danger of poisonous animals escaping (poisonous snakes, giant centipedes, jellyfish, mosquitoes, scorpions, spiders, lion fishes, poisonous caterpillars, monkeys, leeches, etc all of which might bring health issues, and, again, be problematic for humans due to the lack of medical care at the time for obvious reasons.

To sum up we can make a reflection over the actions of the people of Thailand, who while being witnesses of the destruction of their houses and live places and even the harm and loose of their beloved they won’t be forgetting where do they come from and how much do they owe to their land and natural environment, and so they won’t let these animals apart because even after these floods they don’t consider nature as an enemy but as the axis of their existence.


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