FBR REPORT: Horse and Mule Update; Pack Animals and Support of IDPs
Karen State, Burma
3 November, 2006

Dear Friends,

Thanks for all of your support and for the help with the horses and mules. As you may know, we are training new relief teams and to trying to provide more assistance to the people under attack, especially in northern Karen State. Over 20,000 people have been displaced in one of the largest offensives since 1997. Most of the re-supplies are carried on people’s backs but due to many of you and your help we have been able to get 40 horses and mules to help carry the loads.. These animals can carry 3-4 times what a human can carry and can go almost everywhere. They are a tremendous boost to the ability to move relief supplies and we’ve also been able to medically evacuate people on them. We do have some sad news, however, especially for those who gave us mules and named them.

14 of our animals have died this year due to a yet undiagnosed sickness. This has been a personal loss as we love these animals and my daughters also lost two of the pack animals that they sometimes rode. It has also been a real loss in the ability to move medical and other relief supplies. We are very sorry to have to report this and are doing our best to determine what killed these animals. We have some veterinary friends who are advising us and we hope to find out what killed the mules and how we can prevent future deaths. We are doing our best to take care of these animals that remain. In the area we are in now we have three mules left as all the animals that died of sickness died in this area. The 25 other horses and mules are in different districts and so far only one has died and that was from being gored by a buffalo. The remaining horses and mules are working to help carry supplies to people in need. We hope to replenish with more horses and mules. These animals are real blessings to the IDPs. Thank you all and God bless you,

God Bless you,
A Relief Team Leader
Free Burma Rangers


“Girlfriend” – one of the originals, doing well