There is heartbreaking news that the weeks of protests in Egypt have caused a crisis for the animals in the country. Animal welfare groups are desperately trying to keep up with the care of cats, dogs, goats and donkeys that were injured or abandoned during the unrest.
However, according to the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) the most tragic victims are the estimated 3,000 horses that were used to carry tourists to the Pyramids.
These equines were the only source of income for their owners. Once the protests started, the tourists stopped visiting Egypt and the owners could no longer afford to feed their animals.
In addition, many of the roads around Cairo were blocked during the demonstrations and caretakers could not reach the horses. As a result, the horses are starving to death and many others have died after having to fend for themselves over the past few weeks.
ESMA travelled to the area to get a firsthand look at the situation. Their team also brought food to distribute to as many horses as possible.
The group visited one stable where a dead horse was being removed by a cart. They asked the owner if they could see the condition of the other horses. ESMA reported that all of them were malnourished and some were sick. The owner told them that he had no money to buy feed or treat the animals.
In addition, the man explained that he was trying to take care of an additional 40 horses that were supposed to go to the military before the protests, but were never picked up. He was rationing what little food he had on hand to all of the horses.
ESMA then moved on to one of the makeshift graveyards where they saw the remains of 50 horses and 3 camels – all had starved to death. One representative from the group said, “The most distressing of all the dead animals were the dead foals next to their mothers.”
ESMA representatives handed out buckets of food to 450 horses, until their supply ran out. They said, “When the horses were waiting in line for their rations, some of them were ‘so hungry’ they ate the trees.”
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