WATCH: Rescue team, Philippine army find few animals during Volcano Mayon aerial survey

Something as simple as a piece of rope has helped save thousands of lives, both humans and animals, in the Albay Province of the Philippines.

Many farmers were attracted to receiving a new rope lead for their animals to replace their old tattered ones. Dr. Antonio Basanta of the Provincial Veterinary Office ran with this notion and coined the phrase ’10 Meter Rope Technology’ to describe his approach to animal evacuations, while also adding a bit of his humor into this otherwise stressful event.

Dr. Basanta also leads the Mayon Evacuation Animal Team (MEAT), an acronym no one forgets.

RELATED: VIDEO: animal evacuations continue in the Philippines as Mayon volcano threatens to erupt

After the steady flow of animals into the evacuation centers slowed to a trickle, our team took to the air to see how successful we were in animal evacuations.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines collaborated with IFAW to conduct an aerial assessment of the communities within the declared 8km danger zone. Very few animals remained in the foothills of the Mayon volcano. 

This was encouraging news to the remainder of the team and a sign of success for the ‘10 Meter Rope Technology.’

But as the waiting game continues, the farmers will get restless, and feeling the pressure from their families as they all depend on these animals for their livelihood, they will want to return to the danger zone. 

Staggering the delivery of incentives like medical exams, vitamins, de-wormers, and concentrated feed will encourage farmers to maintain their animals in the evacuation centers for the duration of this event.

We will continue to monitor the Mayon volcano, but knowing that we have strong partners on the ground brings great assurance that people and animals will be as safe as possible if and when she does erupt.


Stay tuned for ongoing updates from the IFAW Rescue team on the ground in the Philippines.

Post a comment


Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy