Animal Rescue Mission | August 1, 2018

The ongoing eruption has been extremely devastating to the residents of Puna, with thousands losing their homes, some being displaced because of the close proximity to the fissures, while others were isolated or downwind of the flows.   The affected also included dozens of animals, as many were reluctantly abandoned by their owners as they scrambled to evacuate, leaving pets and livestock to fend for themselves in areas where they lacked food, water, and shelter, while also being exposed to varying amounts of heat and toxic gases.  The smaller domesticated animals were easier to rescue, but the larger farm animals presented a logistical problem, with size and approachability being issues.

Rescue efforts organized by Axel Kratel, brought together an extraordinary team in Jake Muise of KIA Hawaii and Cal Dorn of Paradise Helicopters, to execute this mission.  Jake and his crew brought knowledge and experience with livestock, and a specially designed device for trapping and extracting livestock by air, while Cal brought his military and utility sling load experience, and his specially equipped Bell 407 and support crew for jobs just like this one.

Of course, with highly technical tasks such as this, there is steep operational expense, and rather than burden the ranchers and residents already hurting from their homes and livelihoods being taken and disrupted by the eruption, this incredible mission was made possible through a generous donation by the Allgauer Foundation, and gifts from numerous donors through Axel’s GoFundMe campaign.  See the photos below of this inspiring effort of people helping others in need.  And, please share this story!  Mahalo!!



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