“It is difficult because we see the animals coming out of the water hurt and covered in blood because the piranhas attack them”, says local resident Irene Cruz da Conciencao about the floods in Brazil’s Amazon.
The rural municipality of Manacapuru in the Amazon state was flooded by the Solimoes river. Many of its residents are struggling to keep their surviving cows alive.
On Thursday, cows couldn’t reach dry land and were standing in water, until their knees and sometimes shoulders. Farmers are worried about the forecast of more rain in the coming months.
“What happened is that we work so much that when we saw the water rising, we felt desperation. We need to figure out what to do to save the animals,” Mateus dos Santos, who lives in the flooded area, told Reuters.
“One of the cows woke up on top of the calf, and the calf died. This means we lost some of our production,” Mateus said about the suffering cows, which are his income.
“But this is the fight we are leading here, to try to keep our animals alive to then take them to dry land until Autumn,” he added.
In Manacapuru, locals have had to build a new system of dry footpaths to allow residents to move among the flooded streets.
More than 450,000 people in Brazil’s Amazon have been affected by floods, according to the country’s Civil Defence Ministry. The number of animals affected is not known.