Morocco: Taking Action for the Animals at Mers El Kheir Market

Animals' Angels returns to Mers El Kheir to help and be with the animals. Today we are accompanied by Boubaker and Ayoub. He is new to our Moroccan team.

We start a tour over the market, are there with the cattle, sheep and birds. We distribute food and give them something to drink. Many chickens, ducks and geese are tied together by their legs, often in groups of three or four. Today we fortunately see some vendors who have built small enclosures from cardboard or plastic boxes. The animals here can at least move a little.

Although it is only around 20°C today, many animals are extremely thirsty. The geese and ducks really pounce on our water, drink hastily and keep their heads underneath. As aquatic birds they of course lack any possibility to swim and splash around here. Also many chickens drink thirstily from our water, for example Atuka. Her 'owner' is surprised that Atuka is so thirsty - she thanks us and promises that next time she will bring water for her animals to the market. After all, some sellers have already brought food today.

After we have had many conversations at the birds are and offered all the animals something to drink and eat, we prepare large buckets of water, carrots and our equipment for the 'working' animals. On the market area, between the tangle of stalls and tents, we look for donkeys and horses that have been tied to the carts there. We find two donkeys, Adil and Ainhoa - both standing with their carts in the middle of a garbage dump. They are tied up and cannot move. Hungrily they search for food and nibble at old cardboard. Boubaker and Helena unsaddle them and get them away from this stinking heap of rubbish. We take them to a cleaner place and give them something to drink and eat. The two donkeys are happy and visibly enjoy our stroking.

We unsaddle more donkeys from their carts and free them from the heavy loads. We also give first aid to animals that have wounds or pressure points. Fortunately, today we find only very few animals with minor injuries. And of course we tirelessly educate the owners to give them food for thought about how they can treat their animals better. Unfortunately, this is a laborious way, because habits and traditions cannot be changed straight away. Therefore we are very happy that our market team will continue their work in 2020!

Before we leave the market in the late afternoon, we meet familiar faces again. Already in October Ali, Boubaker and Ayoub had met the young donkey girl Jadida, together with her mother. In the meantime the little one has grown quite a lot. Mother and daughter look good. We are happy that they are doing well and the owner promises to continue to take good care of them.