Bhubneswar: Weeks after cyclone Fani hit areas of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, the members of the Animal Welfare Trust Ekamra in Odisha urged people to help in rebuilding the animal shelter in the state. Purabi Patra, who is the founder of the Animal Welfare Trust Ekamra, along with five other volunteers had survived the wrath of cyclone Fani on May 3, after the asbestos of their animal shelter situated on the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar was blown away by strong winds.
“We didn’t expect that the cyclone’s intensity would be this high. However, we tried to evacuate the animals, but we couldn’t find any place to shift them. First, we shifted them to some small rooms thinking that the animals would be safe here, but as the intensity of the wind increased, all the roofs were blown away,” said Purabi Patra. Further, Patra said that they had to release all the animals in order to save them and found at least 15 animals paralysed post-cyclone.
“By the time we returned to the place after two hours, we found almost 15 animals paralysed and few others dead. Some are still missing and the process to rebuild the animal shelters is going on,” he said. While most animals were rescued, the trust, which is home to over 60 cats and dogs, lost a feline and a dog. The volunteers have also announced a cash prize of Rs 5000 for a dog which has gone missing.
The death toll in Odisha due to cyclone Fani has touched 64 with Puri recording the maximum number of casualties at 39, according to official estimates released by the Odisha government on Saturday. According to government data, livestock casualties are over 34 lakhs and over one crore sixty-five lakh people were adversely affected by ‘Fani’ in the state.