Animals in Afghanistan–and getting out
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2001:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan–“Fleeing families now number in the
millions and the number of horses needing our help grows every day,”
Brooke Hospital for Animals field staff in Pakistan said in
The London-based charity said it had fielded “six mobile
teams and three clinics in Peshawar, treating more than 150 horses
of Afghan refugees a day” since March 2001, and far more after
September 11, when “the situation became even more desperate” as
refugees trying to escape U.S. bombing joined those fleeing the
The Brooke veterinarians were “seeing a wide range of serious
conditions resulting from starvation and the long, arduous journey
over the pass from Afghanistan,” the Brooke dispatch said.
“Malnutrition, lameness and severe saddle sores were common. Nearly
every horse had a raw, infected wound where a pack containing all
the family’s possessions had rubbed the skin away. The blood
parasite Trypanosomiasis affected many animals, who would have died
without treatment,” the dispatch added.
At the three clinics, the Brooke said, “Every horse
received good food, worming, vaccination against tetanus, new
shoes, and above all a rest.”
There was no immediate word as to the fate of the remaining
animals at the Kabul Zoo, the only zoo in Afghanistan. Once one of
Asia’s best, the Kabul Zoo lost 60 animals including a herd of
elephants during the 18-month civil war of 1993-1994. Of the
survivors, both wolves, one of the four bears, and one of the two
lions were still alive, as well as elderly keeper Abdul Sattar could
maintain them as of April 2001, along with a deer acquired since.
The three rhesus macaques had increased to six, according to
Washington Post reporter Pamela Constable.
Also known as Aga Akbar, Sattar has been live-in zookeeper since 1982.