Animal Nepal team vaccinated no less than 130 dogs at Swyambhunath area at the end of July 2016. Swayambhunath area located in the heart of Kathmandu valley is also a world heritage site of Nepal and popular destination for travelers both locals and foreigners. Being a popular destination for followers of Buddhism and Hinduism, the increasing number of animals living in this holy shrine needs to be protected. With the help of such activities, we also aim to develop future strategies of including Swyambhu into our Annual programme.
Animal Nepal plans to conduct a pilot Animal Birth Control (ABC) program at Swyambhunath and Shova Bhagwati area at the end of year 2016, where we plan to vaccinate and sterilize at least 100 stray dogs of the area, carry out community awareness raising activities, create a happy and healthy environment for both animals, locals and tourists at Swyambhunath.
The survey was also conducted in June 2016 to find out total number of dogs roaming inside and outside Swyambhunath Stupa. We found some 95 free roaming dogs around Swyambhu. The pilot project, apart from conducting ABC and AR camp in the area, also aims to introduce a community awareness raising program.
Swayambhunath is among the oldest religious sites in Nepal and consists of various stupa, shrines, temples, Tibetan monasteries, museum and library. The area is also filled with various shops and restaurants targeted specially for tourists. Although it is known as Buddhist temple, it is equally visited by Buddhist and Hindu devotees and tourists from all over the world.
Swyambhu area also attracts many birds and animals, especially monkeys and dogs. Swyambhunath is also popular as Monkey temple among the tourists. It is estimated that Swyambhu area houses some more than 100 stray dogs and hundreds of monkeys. Since, Rabies is common in monkeys, the stray dogs of Swayambhu are extremely vulnerable to Rabies. And despite the high number of strays, there are no regular ABC/AR camps conducted in the area. Some stray dogs looked like discarded pets and most of them also suffer from skin diseases. Most people in our country choose temples and religious place to abandon their pets and due to this reason Swyambhu area have comparatively high number of abandoned pets. And if birth control programme is not conducted very soon, chances are there that this growing number of dogs will double in few years.