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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

Bam Animal Clinics-Uganda: February 2023 Update

AKI Partner Organization, Bam Animal Clinics-Uganda, was in the eastern part of the country again during February as part of their AKI-supported donkey welfare work.

Working with donkey communities involves gaining trust, proving commitment, showing positive impacts, and being there for the long run. And that's what Bam Animal Clinics has been able to do thanks to our donors, who have provided Bam with ongoing support that helps them gain the trust of donkey-owning communities and prove Bam's commitment, have positive impacts for donkeys and their families, and ensure sustainability of their presence and their efforts.

donkeys and keepers
Donkey owners walking to a Bam Animal Clinics' free community vet clinic
donkey with keepers
It can be a long trek to reach a Bam Animal Clinics' community donkey clinic, but worth the effort!

It's the dry season in Uganda, and you can see there's not much for these donkeys to graze on. The available vegetation, what little there is, doesn't offer much in the way of nutrients, and this is the time when supplements are needed to keep donkeys healthy. And of course the donkeys need to be provided with water during this time of water scarcity. Bam stresses the need for supplemental feeding and extra water whenever they talk to donkey-owning communities.

donkeys grazing
Dry season grazing

Not only do donkeys have to cope with the difficult environmental conditions, they are also forced to work under difficult human-caused conditions. Typically, they carry heavy loads without padded saddles, as in the pictures below. Jerricans are tied onto this donkey; the rope will cause rope burns and eventually deep, infected gouges in the hide. The rope is tied under the tail, which will result in a painful sore.

This is exactly what Bam Animal Clinics is aiming to address through their free community donkey clinics. Working in eastern Uganda, in Kween, Bukwo, and Kapchorwa districts, Bam trains donkey owners to make, use, and repair humane sisal saddles to provide more comfort and protection against injuries.

humane saddle for donkeys
A sisal saddle-making training course in Feb 2023: Each donkey owner will make his or her own saddle and get to keep it to use on their donkeys.

Bam also helps donkey owners keep their donkeys healthy by offering free vet care. Most donkey owning communities are poor and are located in remote parts of Uganda. If private vet care is available, and it's usually not in these areas, it is unaffordable. So Bam steps in and fills this gap. Many owners and their donkeys show up for these clinics (photo below) even though getting there, waiting for the vet check-up, and getting back home can mean a day off of work (and money lost).

donkey vet clinic
There's always a crowd when Bam holds a community clinic

Bam's vets and animal health care workers relieve so much suffering. At every clinic (sometimes lasting over a 3-day period), they treat thousands of donkeys for infected wounds and a range of diseases and educate their owners about how they can provide improved care.

injured donkey
A February 2023 Bam community clinic
injured donkey
Typical of the wounds Bam sees on donkeys who are brought to their community clinics
Donkeys and their keepers wait patiently to be seen at a Bam clinic

Bam's and Animal-Kind International's goal is to have healthy donkeys and aware and humane donkey owners, who are able to provide the basic needs of their donkeys and understand the importance of humane care and handling. - Watch donkeys rolling on their backs

We love to watch donkeys rolling around having fun (getting some time off from their 24/7 lives as "beasts of burden"). Donkeys roll on their backs for many of the same reasons that our dogs do: because it's fun, to scratch an itch, to get rid of flies and other annoying insects, and to place a layer of dirt on their skin to protect from heat or cold.


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