Discover 50 years of disaster response
For 50 years, we have worked throughout the world to protect animals caught in disasters. From Mexico to Indonesia, our disaster response team of highly skilled specialists have deployed to protect animals in need.
This year, we are reflecting on our 50 years of disaster work and celebrating how protecting animals helps communities to re-build. Many of the world’s poorest people are completely reliant on animals for food, transport and income. We work with these communities to both protect animals and to build a sustainable future in the event of further disasters.
Since our first response in 1964, we have directly treated over 3.5 million animals in 350 disasters.
To mark the occasion, we have launched an interactive timeline, bringing together photos and videos from our 50 years of disaster work.
Our very first disaster response was in March 1964. We received a letter from officials in Surinam asking for our assistance in rescuing thousands of animals trapped by rising water behind the newly created Afobaka dam. In the 18 months that followed, John Walsh and a team of 42 members of the local community, rescued 10,000 wild animals from flood water. Known as ‘Operation Gwamba’, the intervention marked the first of hundreds of disaster relief missions to come.