Help for Nepal's working donkeys

Horses and humans have been working together for over 5000 years. The domestication of the equine (= all members of the horse species) was one of the single most important discoveries for early human societies. Horses and other equines were used in war, in hunting and as a means of transport. They were animals of high prestige and importance and in many parts of the world are still an essential part of working life.

Read the article below about the working donkeys in the brick kilns of Nepal and complete the six gaps with the following verb phrases:

  • took hold

  • carried out

  • joined forces

  • left stranded

  • make sure

  • look after


Urgent food and relief supplies have been delivered for labourers in the brick kilns of Nepal and their working donkeys and mules who were (1)_______ following the country’s Covid-19 lockdown.

As Covid-19 (2)_________ in March 2020, many residents and workers in the country were left with no time to prepare, as the Nepalese government locked down the country at short notice. All non-essential services and industries were ordered to close, including the country’s brick kilns, a large number of which are located on the peripheries of the Kathmandu Valley and Dhading in central Nepal.

The closure of the brick kilns left some of the poorest and most vulnerable donkeys, mules and the communities that depend on them, without the means to feed or (3)________ themselves. That’s when international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary (4)_________ with Animal Nepal to transport and distribute emergency relief packages containing 25 days’ worth of equine feed, rice, lentil and basic sanitary items.

Pramada Shah, Founder and President of Animal Nepal and one of the trustees of The Donkey Sanctuary, said the lockdown was announced at the beginning of the brick kiln season. He stated ‘ We are very grateful that The Donkey Sanctuary was there to help us mitigate the impact of the lockdown, which could have had a devastating outcome for many of the brick kiln workers who were stranded because of it.”

Following the delivery of urgent supplies, The Donkey Sanctuary and Animal Nepal worked on transporting the working donkeys and mules from the kilns to Nepalgunj to (5)_________ they were not stranded in brick kilns with little access to food and essential provisions. Equines are usually transported back to Nepalgunj, where their owners are based, at the end of the six-month brick kiln season in May or June, before the monsoon rains arrive. Here they are left to roam until the season commences later in the year.

As lockdown began to ease, Animal Nepal’s Equine Outreach Programme team was able to travel to the city of Nepalgunj, where they (6)____________ medical checks on donkeys and mules on a one-to-one basis with their owners.

A ground-breaking deal was also struck with the Nepalgunj sub-metropolitan city to provide fresh grazing pasture for brick kiln donkeys and mules during the brick kiln off season. Securing designated grazing lands will help prevent injuries, road traffic accidents and human-equine conflict caused by the animals roaming the streets.

Full article at

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