UC Connect public lecture: Animals and natural disasters

10 March 2017

After the magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Canterbury on 4 September 2010, most media reports initially claimed that no lives had been lost. In fact, this first earthquake killed at least 3000 chickens, eight cows, one dog, a lemur and 150 aquarium fish.

  • Alsatian dog in flood water post quake

    Our animals help us to cope in times of crisis, but they also depend on us. In her UC Connect public lecture, Associate Professor Annie Potts will discuss the importance of human-animal relationships for healing and ways we can best protect and help our animal companions get through natural disasters.

After the magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Canterbury on 4 September 2010, most media reports initially claimed that no lives had been lost. In fact, this first earthquake killed at least 3000 chickens, eight cows, one dog, a lemur and 150 aquarium fish, and was only the first in a series of catastrophic quakes that were to follow across Canterbury (and more recently in Marlborough and Wellington), in which humans and animals perished.

In her upcoming UC Connect public lecture, Associate Professor Annie Potts will reveal what happened to animals during and after these quakes, and will ask: what can we learn from these events and our responses to them? She will also discuss the importance of human-animal relationships for healing and rebuilding damaged lives.

Our animals help us to cope in times of crisis, but they also depend on us. Annie will also talk about ways we can best protect and help our animal companions get through natural disasters.

Associate Professor Annie Potts is the Co-Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies, based in the College of Arts at the University of Canterbury. With Donelle Gadenne, she is the author of Animals in Emergencies: Learning from the Christchurch Earthquakes, published by Canterbury University Press in 2014. Her other books include Chicken (Reaktion, 2012) and A New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in our Culture, History and Everyday Life (with Philip Armstrong and Deidre Brown, Auckland University Press, 2013).

UC Connect public lecture: Animals and natural disasters: Learning from recent earthquakes, UC Associate Professor Annie Potts, 7pm on Thursday 16 March at UC Ilam campus, Christchurch. Register to attend UC Connect lectures free

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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