Tag Archive: Blue Cross flood rescue


buffalo out to sea 0-2-2

 

By Rudra Krishna

 

On the morning of the December 2, 2015, the Blue Cross of India received a call from the Adyar police, with the information that that many cows and buffalos had been picked up by the torrential currents of the overflowing and much-swollen Adyar River, and that they were being washed away into the Indian Ocean.

 

As we later found out, the Chembarambakkam Reservoir had received an unprecedented amount of rainfall the previous night, and authorities had been forced to release water as quickly as they could, which caused the river to flow about 8-10 feet higher than it is even meant to, and in a most rapid and destructive manner.

 

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All that aside, when we received the call at our Guindy facility, we immediately sent out a rescue vehicle with a couple of our rescue staff and a volunteer, Satish. Please remember that we had no clear idea what had happened with the reservoir at this point. Our vehicle arrived at the Adyar from Eliot’s beach (the most accessible way to get near the river at that point) and our team could initially see nothing apart from a towering river flowing out to sea. However, one of our staff, Razman Ali, born on the banks of the Brahamaputra in Assam, spotted an animal about a hundred metres out in the sea, and shouting out a quick word to the rest of his team, unhesitatingly dove into the mighty Indian Ocean.

 

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Our team reports that the ocean was angry like they had never seen and Razman went under a few times, only to pop right back out, get his head high enough to obtain or correct his bearings, and persevere towards the stricken young buffalo. When he reached her, she, recognizing her last chance at life, allowed him to grab her and drag her back, struggling against the currents, to the beach. Muneer Uddin and Satish, who helped him with the rescue, report that it seemed to take them forever to make their way back to land, as they had to battle the tower of water speeding at them down the Adyar River. They led her to dry ground and as she had sustained no injuries and seemed eager to feed, they left her grazing and went on with their rescues.

 

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All of us that volunteer with the Blue Cross would like to thank Razman for his selfless heroism, and Muneer and Satish for trusting their colleague’s abilities and helping as best they could. Please bear in mind that their instincts told both of them not to allow Razman to swim out into the Ocean when it was so dangerous, but they backed his judgement and now, that young buffalo has received another shot at life. Their role is not to be discounted, for, in the words of the poet Milton, they also serve who stand and wait.

 

How you can help animals in the floods

 

In the recent devastating Chennai floods, Blue Cross has rescued 12,000 animals, either taking them to higher ground or, as needed, providing shelter, food, and vet care. The city is still recovering and Blue Cross flood rescue teams continue this life-saving work every day. – Editor

 

If you’d like to donate to help Blue Cross of India with their work rescuing animals affected by the floods…

 

From the U.S. or anywhere outside India, click here.

 

From inside India, click here.

 

 

Thank you!

 

© 2015, text and photos, Blue Cross of India. This may be reposted provided full credit is given.

 

 

00team and buffalo

 

By Rudra Krishna

 

During the recent floods in Chennai, on November 14 at about 6 am, the Blue Cross of India received a call from Mr. Velu, on the Red Hills by-pass road, with the information that a buffalo was being washed away with the heavy current of the breached Ambathur lake, that he was following her, and that we needed to rush out right away.

 

Our volunteers Kiran, Selvam, Kavin, Santosh, Arjun, and Shunmugam had all returned from late-night flood rescues just an hour and a half before the call came in, and were resting at the Blue Cross facility in Guindy. They were woken up and immediately left to attend to the rescue. The scene that met their eyes seemed to be out of a nightmare, for they all saw a massive buffalo (they didn’t know at the time that she was full-term pregnant) who was fighting against the currents to reach dry land. They report that the flowing currents were battering her from all sides, and it was clear that the soil under her feet was being washed away. At one point in time, she could no longer reach down to the ground and was just floating, at which point our clever boys guided her gently, using poles, under a culvert and into a storm water drain.

 

 

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Once she was stuck in the drain, our volunteers worked with ropes and fashioned a harness, and—with the help of some gracious onlookers (who also took the action pictures in the frame)—she was pulled out to safety.

 

A word here though: pulling out an 800-kilogram buffalo is, unsurprisingly, an incredibly difficult task. The ropes had to be placed very judiciously so that she wouldn’t dislocate any limbs. Moreover, it is a pretty risky thing to approach a buffalo. They can be very aggressive at times, especially when in distress. Kiran had to enter the deep storm water drain and fasten the ropes on to her. She wasn’t thrilled about it initially, but he coaxed and cajoled until she allowed him to harness her and secure the heavy ropes properly. The team then pulled her out safely. She was brought back to our Guindy facility, where she delivered her baby, a female calf we named Gina. We are thrilled to report that both mother (who we’ve named Yamini) and little Gina are doing well at our Guindy facility.

 

 

mam and baby00

 

Our team sustained a few minor injuries during the rescue, but Kiran received rather considerable injuries due to twice being washed off his feet by the currents and getting thrown around a bit. However, we are also glad to report that he is now doing fine.

 

The whole rescue happened during extremely heavy rain, which might not be clear from the pictures.

 

In the recent devastating Chennai floods, Blue Cross has rescued 12,000 animals, either taking them to higher ground or, as needed, providing shelter, food, and vet care. The city is still recovering and Blue Cross flood rescue teams continue this life-saving work every day. – Editor

 

How you can help animals in the floods

 

If you’d like to donate to help Blue Cross of India with their work rescuing animals affected by the floods…
From the U.S. or anywhere outside India, click here.

 

From inside India, click here.

 

Thank you!

 

©  2015, text and photos, Blue Cross of India. May be reposted with credit given.