At the beginning of 2020, our local partners the Princess Alia Foundation (PAF), the Petra tourism authority (PDTRA), and FOUR PAWS had big plans to continue the work we had started 5 years ago – to continue to improve the health and working conditions of the working horses, donkeys and mules in Petra park, Jordan.
However, despite eight planned interventions in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns caused Jordan to close its borders and the seventh Wonder of the World to close its gates.
From one day to another, the working horse, donkey and mule owners were left with no income and had to somehow survive. Obviously with no income, not only did the families suffer but also the animals they had to take care of. Although the 'working load' was reduced due to the lack of tourists, some equines still needed attention in the form of medicine. Unfortunately the Equine clinic in Petra was closed, but we were in touch with local helpers who we knew could assist. These helpers sent us pictures of horses who needed care but were not able to receive certain medication.
Apart from our work on-site we are strongly hoping for the promised club cars which were supposed to be delivered at the beginning of the year – they are to replace the horse carriages which were causing additional suffering of the animals. These are still on the agenda and are planned to be imported at the end of the year.
We thank you for your support, so that the good work on the ground can be continued.
What is to come in 2022?
This year we will continue to provide the needed veterinary and farriery services to further improve the wellbeing and health of horses working in the Petra Park. A medical and identification database has been created and we will focus on collecting more data to better assess and manage working horses in the park. We will ensure that all working animals in the park have access to clean water and shade, especially during the hot summer months.
Finally and most importantly, we will focus more on building the capacity of local farriers and veterinarians in addition to raising the awareness and level of knowledge amongst horse owners and handlers in terms of – best health and husbandry practices for their equids.
Stay tuned below for further updates!
Back in the clinic in 2021
We are back in Jordan with the first intervention of 2021. We treated 16 horses, and the farrier shoed 12 horses at the Petra Park Equine Clinic in Jordan.
We also operated on two horses - the first horse had sialolith, a “salivary stone” that forms within the salivary gland usually caused by dehydration. The operation went well and the horse was treated successfully. Another horse who unfortunately fell into a manhole will have to be observed, as the treatment will take more time.
Back onsite for castrations and tooth rasping
The 3rd intervention of the year and the 2nd one after the lockdown has proven again successful – the 17 tooth rasped horses will now be able to feed without any problems and will not have to suffer colics or wounds due to irregular-shaped teeth, and six horses were castrated within two days.
The programme restarts after lockdown
After several months of hardship, together with PAF and the PDTRA (tourism authority), our team visited Petra park to restart the programme. The team provided vet checks on all equines that have various ailments or symptoms as well as gathering data on how the animals have fared in the last few months. In only two days, they were able to treat a total of 83 horses – 22 horses received general health checks, 44 horses had pregnancy diagnosis and professional farriery was provided to 17 horses.
Even though our local partners, PAF, weren’t allowed to travel within Jordan, we decided to support several horses with medication and consumables so that they wouldn’t suffer – so two boxes of urgently needed medication were sent down to Petra park.
The 2020 Intervention begins
The intervention began promisingly with the diagnosis of several mares (pregnancy diagnosis), as well as the treatment of several horses who showed signs of lameness and colics.