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IFAW-COP animal rescue teams respond to double volcano threat in Indonesia

YARMOUTH PORT, Mass., Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare is working near Mt. Kelud in the Island of Java, and Mt. Sinabung in Sumatra, Indonesia to help companion animals, farm animals and wildlife displaced after volcanic eruptions forced the evacuation of nearby residents.

Mt. Kelud, a 5,679-feet-high volcano, erupted on February 13 forcing the immediate evacuation of nearby villages. According to news reports, up to 36 villages situated six miles from the crater are in danger and 200,000 people are being asked to leave.

Mt. Sinabung, standing at 8,071feet, has been active since the end of last year and on February 1, a violent blast tragically killed at least 16 people. The volcano continues to remain at the highest alert level and nearly 30,000 people from 33 villages are sheltered in 42 evacuation centers. 

IFAW is working with local group COP (Centre for Orangutan Protection), to help evacuate and provide food for the impacted animals.

"Our goal is to provide aid to as many animals as possible," said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW's Disaster Response Manager. "Volcanic eruptions have a deadly impact on all animals in the surrounding areas. Many animals have perished due to the hot ash and gas, starvation, dehydration and respiratory illnesses." 

"For farmers in Java, cows are considered family members. Rescuing livestock means helping farmers to secure their future livelihood," said Hardi Baktiantoro COP Principal. "Volcanic ash is covering the grass, which is their source of food. We are working with IFAW to buy food from other districts and supply the affected areas that are unreachable by government teams." 

IFAW partner, The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org, are helping to secure funds to support IFAW's disaster response work around the world.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

CONTACT: Kerry Branon, IFAW (508) 744-2068; kbranon@ifaw.org

Editors: Images available at www.ifawimages.com

SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare

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