The local media has reported that more than 150,000 people have been evacuated, leaving behind hundreds of donkeys to fend for themselves.
Understanding the plight of donkeys in the state, the Devon-based The Donkey Sanctuary funded the local charity, Donkey Sanctuary Welfare Association (DSWA), to provide vital care, including food and medicines for the donkeys left behind in Maharashtra.
The DSWA team targeted Vishnughat, located on the bank of River Krishna. Vishnughat is one of the worst-hit areas, where the river has reportedly risen to eight feet.
As many as 68 donkeys have been said to have gone missing from this area alone.
The charity has also visited other areas such as Krupamai, Subash Nagar, Shamrao, and Ghandi Chowk, where more than 165 donkeys have been reported missing.
Besides providing veterinary treatment, the charity has also been providing vital feed and mineral supplements to hundreds of donkeys suffering in these areas.
Ceris Turner-Bailes, Interim Programmes Director for The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “The flooding in India means that potentially thousands of donkeys are suffering, and so with the help of DSWA we are able to reach the animals in greatest need, as quickly as possible.”
“Donkeys in India allow thousands of people to earn a living, and so rescuing these animals will help affected communities rebuild their lives.”
Madhu Kapoor, chairperson of DSWA, said: “Due to the number of donkeys affected, the situation warrants an emergency response, which we would be unable to do without the support of The Donkey Sanctuary.
“The funds we have received will allow us to provide shelter, food, water, and medicines to the donkeys that need it the most.”
After the floodwaters recede, the donkeys will be vital in helping communities to get back to a semblance of normal life. The devastation suffered by the residents of Maharashtra State is almost unimaginable, but their beloved donkeys can make a hard and tragic time more bearable.